Dr. Laura Trejo

Dr. Laura Trejo has spent her career advocating for language justice and healthy aging, as well as supporting older adults and initiatives for healthy aging.

Recently named a CERP Community Partner Awardee, Trejo is one of UCLA CTSI’s community representatives and patient advocates, and is also director of LA County’s Department of Aging and Disability Services Department. 

As a child, she moved from El Salvador to Los Angeles, working her way through four degrees from USC, including a BA and MS in Gerontology, Master of Public Administration, and Doctorate of Social Work. She used her path forward as a way to help encourage others in her neighborhood to also consider higher education. As she grew up, she was able to use her bilingual skills to help other families in the neighborhood to navigate English-only documents or programs for the parents and educational opportunities for the students. She has used her own life experiences to advocate for bilingual staff and multilingual program materials.

In addition, Dr. Trejo’s experience as a caregiver to her parents has also influenced her ability to advocate for programs and resources to support healthy aging. Dr. Trejo created, designed, and implemented the Older Worker Employment Program (OWEP) to benefit the unemployed and aging homeless population, serving over 179 seniors since 2016. She and her team also collaborated with the Los Angeles Public Library to send personal messages to seniors to go along with meal delivery during the pandemic. This was a way to address social isolation as well as food insecurity. Dr. Trejo collaborated with leaders across sectors in LA County to form the Los Angeles Alliance for Community Health and Aging (LAACHA), an alliance that helps to expand the reach of community health interventions supporting caregiving, falls prevention, and chronic diseases. It’s part of the Los Angeles Purposeful Aging (PALA), grounded in Dr. Trejo’s vision to make the region age-friendly for diverse older adults.

Image caption: Dr. Laura Trejo

Image source: LinkedIn/Laura Trejo