Transforming Student and Faculty Training, Patient Care, Employee Wellness, and the Community
The reach of the UCI Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) impressively spans across students, professionals, staff, and community members with its teaching kitchen program. It deployed a Culinary Medicine elective for students in the UCI School of Medicine for over 180 medical students. Students get hands-on cooking instruction from a chef with a focus on making healthy, delicious, culturally appropriate dishes and helping patients make practical changes to eating and shopping habits. The SSIHI team offers group hands-on cooking sessions for patients and a host of nutrition education programs for the surrounding community with its Lois Eisenberg Teaching Kitchen at the UCI Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Santa Ana. Many of its patients struggle with diet-related chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease. In group medical visits, the teaching kitchen reaches a wide variety of patients and learners with culturally appropriate recipes. SSIHI researchers have also worked on a project to train health care providers in seven other Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to provide whole person care for the underserved community clinic patients in a manner that can be financially sustainable. The year-long project found patient outcomes improved including hemoglobin A1c, BMI, and pain over the course of the program. The program is expanding its number and reach of teaching kitchens in areas of genomics, precision nutrition, and mental health.
The Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (SSIHI) at the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences at University of California, Irvine, offers clinical services using a team approach of transdisciplinary providers (MDs, DOs, NDs, LAcs, RDs) for those seeking well-being as well as treatment of chronic conditions using integrative therapies such as acupuncture, natural supplements, nutritional guidance, and mind-body programs.