Young boy with medium skin tone and dark hair colors at an outdoor table as his mother watches over his shoulder

CHLA Wellness Festival visitor Anton enjoys an activity.

Serving the Community

Hello, Neighbor! Community Wellness Festival Brings CHLA and Local Residents Together

The event featured wellness information, entertainment, food distribution and community spirit.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, the parking lots at the corner of Fountain Avenue and Virgil Place were transformed  filled with exciting activities and community spirit.

“We all know that healthier communities create healthier and more resilient children. That’s why we are all here today,” said Lara Khouri, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as she welcomed over 600 local neighbors, community leaders and CHLA team members to the CHLA Community Wellness Festival.

Six casually dressed adults pose with framed certificate under canopy
L-R: CHLA Director of Community Relations and Strategic Initiatives in Government and Community Affairs Rolando Gomez, Executive Director of External Affairs Ellen Zaman, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lara Khouri; Guadalupe Cambreros, Deputy District Director for LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis; CHLA Community Affairs Project Manager Ana Castro and Vice President of Government Relations and External Affairs Luis Ayala

More than two dozen booths were staffed by team members from many CHLA departments, including Dentistry, Child Life, Injury Prevention, Developmental Disabilities, Community CPR, Emergency Preparedness, Literally Healing and more, to promote health and wellness for children and families in the community surrounding CHLA’s Sunset campus.

The hospital’s Home Safety RV, a life-size walk-though vehicle, was on hand to display the different methods for keeping homes safe for kids. The always-popular pet therapy dogs brought joy and smiles to participants young and young at heart, and the Blood Donor Center shared the importance of blood donations. The Clinical Simulation Center Team demonstrated the potential lifesaving technique of Community “Hands-only” CPR, and free flu vaccines were available. Youth participants also received backpacks containing school supplies along with other prizes.

Approximately 60 CHLA team members wearing blue t-shirts pose beneath large canopy at the Community Wellness Festival
CHLA Wellness Festival Volunteers

CHLA’s Food Access Hub provided over 500 totes of fresh produce and groceries to community members in attendance. Through the hospital’s partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, 2,000 pounds of dried goods were provided, and CHLA sponsored over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce from Rick’s Produce Market, located in the heart of Virgil Village.

The event was also an occasion for local youth to shine. Attendees were treated to stage performances by youth talent including:

  • Mariachi Herencia Michoacana, an all-youth Mariachi band proudly including members from different states across Mexico.
  • Third, fourth and fifth grade students from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, sharing their rich Armenian heritage and history through traditional cultural dances.
  • First grade students from Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School, singing a catchy tune called, “I am a Pizza!”
  • Franklin Avenue Elementary’s youth chorus of more than 50 youth sharing their joy of music.
Young girls wearing white t-shirts sing from music sheets
Local elementary school children provided entertainment at the event.

Supporting the community through events like the Community Wellness Festival is an integral part of achieving CHLA’s mission: to create hope and build healthier futures.

Our special thanks to our local community leaders that came out to support this event, including:

  • Los Angeles City Council Member Hugo Soto-Martinez and Field Deputy Karla Martinez from Council District 13
  • Deputy District Director Guadalupe Camberos of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ Office
  • Los Angeles City Council Member Nithya Raman, 4th District
  • East Hollywood Neighborhood Council President Andoni Elias Nava

CHLA is proud to continue to work together with our community leaders, partners and neighbors to advance community wellness, to keep our environment healthy, to promote access to healthy foods, and much more.

Volunteers wearing blue CHLA t-shirts stack food donations on foldable table underneath CHLA canopy
CHLA Community Impact Champions Network volunteers preparing food for distribution
Volunteers wearing blue CHLA t-shirts stand beneath canopy at Community Wellness Festival
CHLA volunteers at event check-in

Learn more about the efforts of CHLA’s Office of Community Affairs to have a positive impact on the local community.