Trusteeship members enjoyed a special Behind the Scenes visit to the LGBTQ+ Clinic Featuring Trusteeship member, Dr. Astrid Heppenstall Heger with special guest speaker, David Arquette, joined in the evening’s discussions.
It’s not often that we get to visit and see firsthand the work of one of our LEF Award Winners. Astrid was awarded the Meredith MacRae Empowerment Award in 2008.
As a Trusteeship member, Astrid really rolled out the red carpet for The Trusteeship by featuring chef prepared food from Top Restaurant, Babita Mexicuisine, for a sit down dinner with a Q & A and a discussion of the clinic and how it fits into the all the services for high risk patients at VIP and in Los Angeles County.
Famed actor, David Arquette, spoke about his sister Alexis and the Alexis Arquette Clinic leadership provided an overview of the clinic and the fabulous work they are doing with transgender youth.
Did you know 20% of youth in LA County Foster Care identify as LGBTQ? Did you know gay and lesbian youth are 4-times more likely to attempt suicide, with the rates much higher for bisexual and transgender youth. The new VIP Center provides comprehensive services.
The Alexis Project is an extension of VIP’s hallmark medical, mental health and support programs targeted at the LGBTQ+ population.
Here’s what Member Ruth Galanter has to say about Astrid’s work: “If you’ve never seen this project, I urge you to make the trip. This is one of those “see a need, fill it” stories, and the impact on individuals and families has been pretty spectacular although the need still far outweighs the resources available. More and more research documents the ways having suffered violence and abuse as a child influences what happens to adults. For example, having suffered abuse as a child correlates highly with which veterans develop PTSD and which do not. I feel sure you will find discovering this program a reason to remain hopeful even as our culture seems to be deteriorating around us.”
Trusteeship member, Wendy Garen, President and CEO of The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, shares: “Starting in 1984, Dr. Astrid Heger has built a cornerstone program serving victims of abuse and family violence. Based at LAC-USC medical center, her transformative work provides medical, mental and supportive service to more than 20,000 individuals annually, with a special focus on children in the foster care system. A tireless advocate, her leadership is helping to transform the child welfare system in Los Angeles. Since 1997, our foundation has invested more than $2 million in VIP, the nonprofit she founded.”