(San Antonio, TX – February 12, 2018) – CHEF, the Culinary Health Education for Families program at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, has received the Innovation Award for Health Care Provider Training and Education from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
The award, presented at the annual Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives Conference in Napa, California this month, recognizes the nation’s leading health professional training programs providing innovative nutrition, physical activity, and obesity counseling education to their students.
Since its launch at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio in 2015, CHEF has offered culinary medicine training in a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen to physicians, registered dietitians, allied health professionals, hospital associates, patients and their caregivers. Classes, led by a specially trained team, teach basic nutrition and practical cooking skills in order to combat the rising rates of diet-related disease in our community. There are no pre-requisites for providers wishing to participate in the CHEF program and CHEF classes are offered to all interested. To date, CHEF has provided hands-on culinary medicine training to more than 160 physicians. In turn, physicians have made more than 730 clinical referrals to the CHEF program at the hospital. CHEF at The Children’s Hospital is part of a larger CHEF network of community teaching kitchens in San Antonio, made possible with funding from Goldsbury Foundation.
Statistics show 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 nutritional counseling should be a part of a patient visit, 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 negative trends showing more and more Americans are overweight or obese.
“Obesity is one of the greatest public health threats of our time,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of 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.”
“We know 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 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.”
Recognizing that physicians receive virtually no formal nutrition education (and no training in healthy cooking), CHEF is a uniquely valuable resource for doctors and other health care providers committed to making an impact on the ever-increasing prevalence of diet-related diseases. CHEF trains and certifies physicians and other medical providers in culinary medicine so they may incorporate CHEF teachings into their practices and effectively utilize CHEF as a resource for their patients and families.
About The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is the first freestanding hospital in San Antonio solely dedicated to the care of children. Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is owned by CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System. Baylor College of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the nation, is the academic partner of The Children’s Hospital with 170 pediatric subspecialists affiliated with Baylor. In addition, community physicians in private practice remain a valuable partner in the care of children in our community. We are a health care ministry that works to continually meet the needs of the community to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, following the values and mission of our sponsoring congregations: Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio, as well as our newest sponsoring congregation, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. For additional information on The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, visit www.chofsa.org or for more information on CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, visit www.christussantarosa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChildrensHospSA and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ChildrensHospSA.
About Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF)
Rooted in the belief that food is medicine, CHEF is a Culinary Health Education program that teaches children and families basic nutrition and practical cooking skills with the long-term goal of motivating individuals and communities to adopt and sustain healthier eating habits.
Funded by a grant from Goldsbury Foundation, and created in partnership with The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, the mission of CHEF is to drive healthy eating among children and families by promoting nutritious food and home cooking as key ingredients in the recipe for life-long health and wellness. For more information on CHEF, visit www.chefsa.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CHEFSanAntonio .