From California Children's Trust, October 15, 2020
Alex Briscoe met Dr. Barbara Staggers 25 years ago, while he was a counselor at McClymonds High School in West Oakland. After school on a Friday, one of Briscoe’s students needed medical attention but didn’t know where to turn. Clinics were closed for the weekend, and after Briscoe had placed many fruitless calls trying to find a place for the student to go, someone said, “Call Dr. Barbara Staggers. She’ll see teens anytime.”
Then the director of adolescent medicine at Children’s Hospital Oakland, Dr. Staggers had already gained national attention for her transformative work with adolescents. The daughter of a doctor— her father was the first Black surgical sub-specialist trained by the United States Navy—Barbara Staggers did not always plan to be a doctor. In fact, she studied ballet from a young age, dancing professionally in her teens.
“Growing up, I always knew that I was valued, respected, and loved,” says Staggers, “by my parents and other strong mentors. I was listened to, and that stayed with me.”