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June 23, 2015


The doctor spun around from the kitchen counter and held up a plastic container filled with bright green mush.

"OK!" he said proudly. "I made my baby food!"

Dr. Mark Gilger is pediatrician-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. He knows a whole lot about babies. But he'd never before made a baby food puree.

At Tulane University's Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, instructors seek to make such experiences the norm for practicing physicians and they're starting with physicians in training at medical schools.

Three years since the Tulane School of Medicine opened its culinary medicine program and one year since unveiling its 4,600-square-foot teaching kitchen withinthe same building as the Whole Foods on Broad Street, its philosophy is spreading across the country.

Thirteen medical schools and health care centers have licensed the curriculum, written and implemented by Chef Leah Sarris and Dr. Timothy Harlan, an internist and assistant professor of medicine who some know as "Dr. Gourmet" from his guest appearances on The Food Network.

By next year, Harlan said, the curriculum will be in 10 percent of U.S. medical schools.


July 2, 2015

From celebrity chefs and restaurant-caliber meals to upscale venues and unique programming, the senior living dining experience is anything but average.

And while providers are increasingly using their dining programs as a marketing tool to entice prospective residents, they’re also using them as a way to attract top talent and rethink the staff training process.

Enter: Morrison Community Living, a member of Compass Group and a dining services company devoted exclusively to serving senior living clients.

The Atlanta-based company is showing that providers can utilize dining not only in the obvious way, but also in creating a new approach to recruiting and training senior living professionals.

And it’s working. With roughly 370 culinary staff, the turnover rate for the last few years has been about 5.5%, even dipping to 3.25% at one point — a figure senior living providers should take note of, given that the industry average in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) alone is roughly 34%.

“That’s our measure to make sure that things are working,” says Senior Corporate Executive Chef John Rifkin.

Among those “things” that are working are Morrison’s chef competitions, new staff training model and dining-based approach to recruitment.

Recipe For Good Health, WVU

Fall 2014

Medical students gain more tools to help patients be well

The MedCHEFS program at WVU Eastern Division is breaking new ground by emphasizing nutrition and exercise in interactions between medical doctors and patients. The Medical Curriculum in Health Exercise and Food Sciences (MedCHEFS) provides medical students with effective tools to help them change health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which are most common in West Virginia.

Leaders at the WVU Health Sciences Center Eastern Division have changed the curriculum for future physicians through this innovative program, and it aims to expose medical students to the science of nutrition and exercise in a way that will help them provide sound patient care and advice regarding healthy lifestyle behaviors.

New Infographics Demonstrate How To Build Healthy Food Systems

March 5, 2015

Kaiser Permanente and Health Care Without Harm have teamed up to produce a series of infographics that show how the health sector can transform the food system towards greater health and sustainability.


The infographics focus on three key areas: health care food purchasing power, healthier hospital food service, and hospitals as anchor institutions. We hope these resources will help hospitals and health professionals understand the potential impact that the sector can have on building a healthier food system and provide some exciting ideas for hospitals to try in their own facilities.


We encourage you to share the infographics widely to support these practices in your own facility!

Chef Michelle Bernstein creates flavorful food for cancer patients at Broward Hospital

February 9, 2015

By Audra D.S. Burch


For months, chef Michelle Bernstein culled her imagination for the right mix of ingredients and flavors, drew from the many culinary moments that define her career and tapped into personal experiences to create the gift of good food.

The star chef, restaurateur, television personality and author is partnering with the Memorial Cancer Institute — part of


the Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County — to create a collection of healthy foods for oncology patients receiving chemotherapy treatments at its hospitals. To Bernstein, everything about the project felt right. She was born at Memorial Regional Hospital and her own mother is battling lung cancer.

“We are just trying to make the foods a little tastier, a little fresher, maybe throw in a little brightness. This is close to my heart because my mother is going through chemotherapy now. Through her, I have learned some of what she can and cannot eat, what affects her palate, said Bernstein. “We are trying to give the patients a little gift, something that says we love you, we are here to take care of you."

Poverty prescriptions

February 1, 2015

Nonprofit hospitals have a key role to play in feeding America’s hungry -

Opinion - The Boston Globe

WITH spacious skies and amber waves of grain, the American landscape features food deserts — places where fresh produce is scant, dotted with high-calorie oases where the poor can most readily afford foods flush with sugar, fat, and salt. One in every seven US households experiences not having enough food to go around the table. These families, who live among us in cities and rural America, are deemed “food insecure,” a term that encompasses the two-headed beast of hunger and chronic malnutrition among the overweight and obese. ... --Click photo [courtesy of Boston Globe] to see more.

IRS: Nonprofit hospitals can claim nutrition access aid to avoid taxes

January 6, 2015

In a major achievement for nutrition and local food advocates, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that nonprofit hospitals throughout the country will be able to claim the help they provide their communities to “ensure adequate nutrition” as part of their exemption from federal taxation.

July 17, 2014

"Tulane boasts the first teaching kitchen affiliated with a medical school..."


Students at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, are donning their new, crisp white uniforms and learning how to treat hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease using nontraditional tools of the trade: spatulas, knives, and saucepans. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "cookbook medicine." 

Hospital Food Gets a Makeover

August 18, 2010

Alison Negrin turns out to be a powerhouse in a growing movement to give hospital food a complete makeover. The tiny dynamo, who reminds me some of another institutional food advocate, Ann Cooper (aka The Renegade Lunch Lady), works as the executive chef for John Muir Health, which has campuses in Walnut Creek and Concord, east of San Francisco.

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Bauman College grads boost local food community

Since she graduated from Bauman 11 years ago the chef and nutrition consultant has been working to improve food and systems in local hospitals.  

Bringing Healthy, Local Foods to Healthcare
Chef Alison Negrin at John Muir Health joins Jack Henderson at USCF Medical Center in bringing sustainably raised ground beef into the hospital...  ~read article~
The Tastemaker
Walnut Creek Magazine
Alison Negrin "Food can be comforting and healthy at the same time."
Down to Earth
Whether it's promoting local foods or safeguarding gorillas, recycling lumber or touting trashless weddings, Jewish women activists and entrepreneurs are taking the lead in the green revolution. 

....On a parallel path in Alamo, Calif., chef Alison Negrin...

Plow to Plate: John Muir Health

John Muir Health, with in-patient facilities on three campuses in Concord and Walnut Creek, CA, is committed to healthy food and sustainable agriculture. But like New Milford’s Plow to Plate initiative, change did not happen overnight. Working with established industry vendors, in particular, proved difficult. “Back in 2006 when we initiated our Healthy Food in Healthcare campaign at John Muir Health, we were challenged to find sustainable products through our prime vendor,” reports Executive Chef Alison Negrin. “Purchasing from small local growers was not an option. Transparency of local produce sourcing was also something we could not be provided with.” ...

Meet WCR's 2013 Women Who Inspire
Community Service Award:  Alison Negrin, John Muir Health System, Concord and Walnut Creek, California

Presented by Helene Kennan, Bon Appétit Management Company

Since 2002, as the Executive Chef responsible for 640 patients spread among three Contra Costa County campuses, Alison has been re-envisioning her hospital's food program.  Needing a channel to obtain healthy foods to feed her patients, Alison joined the Bay Area Hospital Leadership Team....

Healthy Food in Healthcare: Sustainable Food Procurement Award

[Under the leadership of Executive Chef Alison Negrin,] John Muir Medical Center, Concord, a 259-bed acute care facility that serves Contra Costa and southern Solano counties in California, achieved the following in 2010:

■ 25 percent of food and beverage purchases were sustainable...


Women Who Inspire Community Service Award
Women Chefs and Restaurateurs
January 2013
Recognized for bringing healthy and sustainably sourced food to health system and connecting with community through purchasing and nutrition education.
Sustainbable Food Awards
Healthcare Without Harm
September 2011
Worked together with our hospital food service team and recieved 2 awards; 3rd place for sustainable food procurment and 2nd place for work involved in food, climate and health connection
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