Transforming Medicine with a Focus on Preventive Care
In 2015, the University of South Alabama (USA) Health initiated a culinary medicine grassroots effort with participation through the USA College of Medicine, the USA College of Nursing, USA physician leaders, and USA Mitchell Cancer Institute leaders. Today, they have administrative support at every level. This multi-pronged approach, which also includes registered dietitians, healthcare providers, and the community at large, has resulted in over 15 hands-on 3- to 6-week culinary medicine classes taught to community members, cancer survivors, and alumni. They offer inter-professional education in culinary medicine to nursing, medical, and physical therapy students.
Teaching takes place in a demonstration kitchen at an internal medicine clinic on USA’s academic campus with plans to expand teaching kitchens at additional new locations in Mobile and Baldwin Counties. They also reach students with intellectual disabilities to increase independence and teach them safe and healthy food preparation skills. USA also reaches the greater community through partnerships. They teach classes at a local HBCU’s teaching kitchen, Bishop State Community College. They have also partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health to teach classes to women enrolled in the CDC Wisewoman Program. The mission of USA Health is to “help people lead longer, better lives”. The health system, including the College of Medicine, is dedicated to transforming medicine in every way possible.