To Our Children's Future with Health (TOCFWH) officially open in the fall of 1992. I say "officially" because it had already open in my heart when I was a young girl traveling from Queens to Manhattan through Harlem in my father's car to attend the Walden School. Walden was a progressive school that emphasized the importance of fairness, justice, and quality of life for all people. As an adolescent, I learned to think critically and to always ask why. In addition to witnessing many challenges to quality of life while riding through Harlem, I noticed the community's uplifted spirit, and it exhilarated me, especially when I saw children.
After completing my graduate degrees in Public Health and Medicine, I decided to dedicate my life's work to disease prevention and securing good health for inner city children and families. At that time, preventive medicine was not particularly popular among aspiring physicians. Most doctors looked at healthcare through the lens of treating sickness rather than one of promoting wellness. Social determinants of health were seldom mentioned in academic literature. Subsequently, dramatically increasing costs prompted a philosophical change about healthcare.
Government public health departments offered me various career opportunities,but my heart was set on work in under-served communities. I was acutely aware of my ability to communicate effectively with community members. When I understood preventive medicine's potential to improve lives as well as my own ability to conceive and implement effective strategies to this effect, I decided to start an organization that is rooted in and energized by the community.