Christina Freese Decker and David Wohns

For Providers 

Culinary Medicine is a behavioral-based program designed to pair nutritional science with approachable culinary skill development. The goal of Spectrum Health’s Culinary Medicine program is twofold: 1. Empower patients with the tools required to create and maintain health in their home kitchen, and 2. Enhance fluency around sustainable dietary patterns so health care providers can better guide their patients through lifestyle change. 

We offer several opportunities to experience Culinary Medicine including:

  • Continuing education available to clinicians, APPs, nurses, registered dieticians, clinical pharmacists and diabetic educators
  • Classes will introduce providers to best-practices and concepts that blend the art of cooking and the science of medicine. Attendees will learn to make low-cost, nutrient-dense, and delicious foods conveniently and sustainably while earning continuing education credits.  See below for the direct link to enroll in our upcoming continuing education events.
  • Fellow and resident education leveraging evidence-based curriculum and hands-on experiential learning.
  • Team building events tailored to your area of clinical expertise and interest in a fun hands-on environment which supports your personal health and wellness.
  • Culinary Medicine recipes available to be ordered through Nutritional Services for catering at your next meeting or event.

 

Opportunities and Research

“I’ve completely revamped our pantry and food in our home.  We’ve moved to a more fruit and vegetable based diet and all feel so much better and have more energy.  This elective was a life changer!”

Culinary Medicine is an evidence-based specialty that aligns the development of hands-on culinary skills with medical nutrition knowledge.   The purpose is to increase resident exposure to counseling and treating patients with diet related diseases, including but not limited to obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurocognition and cancer.  During this elective, the link between diet and disease will be explored while learning to prepare and prescribe flavorful nutrient-dense food. 

The hands-on learning format will be supplemented by lectures and interactive group projects intended to enhance resident knowledge regarding the impact that daily food choices, access to healthy food and barriers to behavior change can have on overall health.  Finally, a team-oriented approach to patient care will be highlighted while working alongside professionals from other disciplines, including chefs and registered dietitians, who are integral for sustained dietary improvement in individual patients as well as the wider community.

Contact Us to Learn More

Congestive Heart And Nutrition Go Excellent (the CHANGE study) – Innovating Heart Failure Care through Culinary Medicine and Digital Health


The CHANGE study incorporates an innovative dietary intervention for patients with Class I and II heart failure.  This program development and feasibility study is funded by the Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute pilot grant fund.  The goal of this study is to: 
  1. Demonstrate acceptability of intensive Culinary Medicine intervention paired with ongoing virtual coaching from a registered dietitian for patients with heart failure. 
  2. Measure the impact of this intervention on the overall diet quality and relevant secondary biometric markers.
     

FamilyKitchenRx


FamilyKitchenRx is a quality improvement project funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund which aims to reduce the incidence and health impact of childhood obesity in underserved youth.  The specific aims of this project include to:
  1. Expand delivery of and evaluate the impact of an evidence-based and innovative professional Culinary Medicine program to resident physicians and healthcare workers employed at Spectrum Health Pediatric, Family Medicine and Healthy Weight clinics and
  2. Implement and evaluate a family Culinary Medicine program inclusive of hands-on cooking skill development in a teaching kitchen, coaching from a registered dietitian, technology enabled self-management, and access to fresh healthy ingredients to children and families who are dually challenged by food insecurity and overweight/obesity.  

This project is in collaboration with the Spectrum Health Pediatric, Family Medicine and Healthy Weight clinics, Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and our community partners at the Downtown Market, Community Food Club, YMCA Veggie Van and GRCC Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.

Education in Culinary Medicine for fellows highlights the importance of intensive lifestyle intervention in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease with relevance to various subspecialties.  We are currently working with our fellows in Cardiovascular Medicine and the upcoming fellowship program in Women’s Health.  Please contact Dr. Kristi Artz for more information about embedding Culinary Medicine training in your fellowship program (Kristi.Artz@spectrumhealth.org).