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February 10, 2018

Award Recognizes Fresh Approach to Address Obesity Prevention and Management

Two winners named in national Innovation Award for Health Care Provider Training and Education

(NEW YORK, N.Y.) Feb. 10, 2018 –Today, the winners of the second annual Innovation Award for Health Care Provider Training and Education were presented at the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference in Napa, CA. The award recognizes leading health professional training programs that provide innovative nutrition, physical activity, and obesity counseling education to their students. 

Statistics show that fewer than 30 percent of medical schools meet the minimum number of hours of education in nutrition and exercise science recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. While 94 percent of physicians agree that nutritional counseling should be a part of the visit with a patient, only 14 percent of doctors feel they have adequate training to do so. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation) established the Award to highlight outstanding programs across the country tackling these concerns in an effort to reverse the negative trend lines.

The award recipients are:

  • The Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, which prepares students for excellence in the field of multi-dimensional and holistic wellness.
  • CHEF (Culinary Health Education for Families) at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, the nation’s first Teaching Kitchen located within a free-standing Children’s Hospital.

“Obesity is one of the greatest public health threats of our time,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “If we are ever going to reduce the obesity epidemic in our country, we must do a better job of training our health care professionals so they can better counsel the patients they serve.”

“There are so many downstream implications of obesity and chronic disease that being able to train future physicians and health care providers who will work directly with patients and train next generation is critical,” said Dr. Hope Barkoukis, Jack, Joseph, Morton Mandel Professorship in Wellness & Preventive Care and Interim Chair Department of Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The only way to be proactive is to focus on prevention and not just the cure.

“We know that physicians receive very little nutrition education during their formal medical education,” said Suzanne Mead Feldmann, Chief Executive Officer of CHEF. “As we were researching and developing CHEF, we spoke to many physicians who indicated that they don’t feel comfortable or have the dedicated time to talk to patients about healthy eating, much less about how to cook healthy meals.”

The award was presented by Healthier Generation in association with our co-founding partners the American College of Sports Medicine and the Bipartisan Policy Center to inspire more schools to strengthen and promote training programs that help tackle obesity, related chronic diseases, and physical inactivity.

In 2017, the Award was given to the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, Healthy Homes, Healthy Futures at the Children's National Health System, and KNIGHTS Clinic at Grace Medical Home funded by The Diebel Legacy Fund at Central Florida Foundation.

Award applications for 2019 will open in fall 2018. To learn more about the Innovation Award for Health Care Provider Training and Education, visit innovatinghealthcare.org.