Food as Medicine: Policy Summit

Food as Medicine: Policy Summit

November 29 - 30th, 2023 | Washington, D.C.

The Food as Medicine: Policy Summit has now sold out! Thank you to all of your support and excitement for this event.

If you missed out on getting tickets, don’t worry – the Food as Medicine Summit will be returning to Chicago next May. Pre-launch registration is now open.

Take me to Food as Medicine: Chicago 2024

About the Conference

Continuing the conversation from Chicago, the Food as Medicine: Policy Summit will bring the community back together again for interactive discussions and networking opportunities.

Convening executives from health plans and providers, the food and beverage industry, non profits, CBOs and policy makers, the summit provides an opportunity to network with and learn from those leading the way in the Food as Medicine space. With a focus on partnerships uniting the public and private sides of Food as Medicine, the summit will bring each stakeholder into the conversation to discuss how we can collaborate to continue pushing for policy change and expanding access to Food as Medicine programs.

About the Conference
What to expect at the Food as Medicine: Policy Summit?
LEARN

Learn from those on the ground advocating for and driving policy change to improve access to Food as Medicine programs. Hear each stakeholders perspective, including health plans and providers, the food and beverage industry, non-profits, policy makers and CBOs, in both focused and blended discussions. 

PARTNER

This summit brings together a senior audience in an intimate setting to foster high value collaborations and discussions. With a focus on partnerships and their power to drive policy change and progress, this summit convenes a multistakeholder community in interactive sessions and dedicated networking breaks.

ACTION

Moving from research to action, this summit will dive into what actions each stakeholder group can do  to continue to inspire change and commitments from the individual, company, stakeholder, state and federal level.

“The problems of hunger, poor nutrition, and diet-related chronic disease are systemically and inequitably at a critical moment in this country. This event is an opportunity to foster collaboration, partnership and commitment to the Food is Medicine movement as we work to improve health and nutrition across the U.S.”

Pamela Schwartz, Executive Director for Community Health , Kaiser Permanente

“Food is not just nourishment; it is our most powerful medicine. At the Food as Medicine Policy Summit, we gather to ignite meaningful dialogue and symbiotic partnerships to drive policy change for equitable access to culturally nutritious meals, caring health providers and  affirming communication to the public. Together, we can cultivate a future where every community thrives on the healing power of food.”

Tambra Raye Stevenson, CEO, WANDA

Speaker Faculty

Michel Nischan
Michel Nischan
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman
Wholesome Wave
Michel Nischan
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman
Wholesome Wave

Michel Nischan is a four-time James Beard Award winning chef with over 35 years of leadership advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder and President of Wholesome Crave, a food company selling responsibly sourced, plant-forward soups to large-scale dining facilities, and now available direct-to-consumer. A portion of the gross sales from Wholesome Crave products benefit Wholesome Wave, the non-profit food equity organization for which Michel serves as Co-Founder and Executive Chairman. He is also Co-Founder of the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camps for Policy and Change, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman in the former Dressing Room Restaurant.

Nischan and his Wholesome Wave partner, the late USDA Under-Secretary Gus Schumacher, were instrumental in securing legislation supporting $100M for Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants for the food equity field in the 2014 Federal Farm Bill. The FINI program was recently expanded to $250M in the 2018 Farm Bill to become a permanent part of all future farm bills. The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) permanently expands affordable access to fruits and vegetables for low-income Americans, while creating a legacy for Gus and the organization he and Michel created.

Michel is the author of three cookbooks on healthful and sustainable food, and an active thought leader advocating for the right of all in America to exercise their right to feed themselves and their families well, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, or economic condition.

To learn more about Chef Nischan, follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Pamela Schwartz
Pamela Schwartz
Executive Director of Community Health
Kaiser Permanente
Pamela Schwartz
Executive Director of Community Health
Kaiser Permanente

Pamela Schwartz, MPH, is executive director of community health for Kaiser Permanente. She leads the organization’s national food-security strategy and other social health priorities, including ensuring that social health interventions are integrated seamlessly into care and services provided to Medicaid members and across all lines of business. Under her leadership, Kaiser Permanente has designed, tested, and scaled numerous outreach campaigns to enroll members in public-benefit programs. Pam oversees Kaiser Permanente’s $50 million Food is Medicine commitment, made alongside its role in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.  An early advocate in the Food is Medicine movement, Pam has helped establish the evidence base and business case for addressing food- and nutrition-insecurity at Kaiser Permanente and in health care systems across America.

 

 

Nebeyou Abebe
Nebeyou Abebe
Senior Vice President of Social Determinants of Health
Highmark Health
Nebeyou Abebe
Senior Vice President of Social Determinants of Health
Highmark Health

Nebeyou Abebe is the senior vice president of social determinants of health (SDoH) for Highmark Health, a $26 billion national, blended health organization that includes one of America’s largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers and a growing regional hospital and physician network. Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Highmark Health’s 42,000 employees serve millions of customers nationwide through the nonprofit organization’s affiliated businesses including Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, HM Insurance Group, United Concordia Dental, enGen, and Helion.

 

SDoH are the conditions in which people live, work, learn, and play that can impact up to 80% of an individuals’ health outcomes before the healthcare system can intervene. Mr. Abebe brings nearly 20 years of experience leading SDoH, population health, and employee health and well-being initiatives for public and private sector organizations. 

In his role at Highmark Health, Mr. Abebe leads an SDoH team that spans across the enterprise and forges close ties with the communities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and New York, uncovering non-clinical opportunities to improve the health and well-being of members and the region at large. 

Highmark Health focuses on the confluence of medical and non-medical drivers of poor health outcomes, with a primary goal to identify and effectively address barriers to health.

Before joining Highmark Health, Mr. Abebe served as global VP of health and well-being for Sodexo Group, where he guided SDOH, population health and employee wellness for all Sodexo business segments impacting more than 425,000 employees and 100 million consumers. While at Sodexo Group, Mr. Abebe developed initiatives that addressed food insecurity, housing, transportation, and workforce development in partnership with community-based organizations.

 

Prior to joining the Sodexo Group in 2013, Mr. Abebe served as associate director of health systems for the Louisiana Public Health Institute, where he played a leading role in building and strengthening local health IT infrastructure and testing innovative approaches to make measurable improvements in health, patient care and cost. He has also served in health communications and social marketing positions, including directing a national CDC campaign to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

 

Mr. Abebe earned his bachelor’s in economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his master’s in social and public policy from Georgetown University, as well as his Project Management Professional credential from the Project Management Institute.

Caree Jackson Cotwright
Caree Jackson Cotwright
Director of Nutrition Security and Heath Equity
Food and Nutrition Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Caree Jackson Cotwright
Director of Nutrition Security and Heath Equity
Food and Nutrition Service, United States Department of Agriculture

Dr. Caree Jackson Cotwright serves as the Director of Nutrition Security and Heath Equity for the Food and Nutrition Service at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this role, Dr. Cotwright leads a whole-of-Department approach to advancing food and nutrition security. She also serves as one of two Departmental representatives on accelerating action on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health goals to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and reduce diet-related diseases and disparities and implementing the corresponding National Strategy. Her work includes building public awareness of USDA’s actions to advance food and nutrition security, as well as collaborating and building partnerships with key stakeholders to maximize our reach and impact. Dr. Cotwright is on leave as an Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Department of Nutritional Sciences. Her research centers on promoting healthy eating among infants through age five-years-old with a particular focus on accelerating health equity among historically underserved populations via community-based participatory research and focusing on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining best practices and policies in the early child education setting. She has developed a variety of innovative interventions, which use theater, media, and other arts-based approaches. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and secured over $1M in grants focused on obesity prevention and health equity from Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the USDA. From 2010-2013, she worked as an ORISE Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, where she was highly engaged in the early care education elements of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative dedicated to helping kids and families lead healthier lives. Dr. Cotwright holds a PhD in Foods and Nutrition and Community Nutrition and MS in Foods and Nutrition both from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Howard University and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She lives in Athens, GA with her loving husband and adorable three daughters.

 

Hilary Seligman
Hilary Seligman
Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of California San Francisco
Hilary Seligman
Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of California San Francisco

Hilary Seligman MD MAS is Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California San Francisco. Her work focuses on food insecurity and its health implications across the life course. She conducts research and policy evaluations focused on federal nutrition programs (particularly SNAP), food banking and the charitable food network, food affordability and access, and income-related drivers of food choice. She directs the CDC’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy, Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) and the Food Policy, Health and Hunger Research Program at UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations. She founded the produce prescription program EatSF (known outside of San Francisco as Vouchers for Veggies). She also directs UCSF School of Medicine’s National Clinician Scholars Program, which offers unparalleled training for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and health care.

Kofi Essel
Kofi Essel
Food as Medicine Program Director
Elevance Health
Kofi Essel
Food as Medicine Program Director
Elevance Health

Kofi D. Essel, MD, MPH, FAAP, is the inaugural Food as Medicine Program Director at Elevance
Health. As a core member of the Health Outcomes Organization team, he works to coordinate
with the broader social impact strategy, health equity, and medical policy initiatives throughout
the enterprise. He leads efforts in designing innovative approaches to address diet related
chronic diseases and social risk using novel food interventions.
Dr. Essel is a board-certified community pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital(CNH) in
Washington, D.C. Most recently serving as Associate Professor of Pediatrics and the Director of
the George Washington University(GWU) School of Medicine and Health Sciences Culinary
Medicine Program. Dr. Essel has dedicated his career to advocacy/research around healthcare
and public health workforce training, health disparities, and community engagement, with
expertise and national recognition in the areas of addressing diet related chronic disease and
food insecurity with patients and families.
Dr. Essel sits on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable
on Obesity Solutions’ Lived Experience Innovation Collaborative and was nationally recognized
by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for helping to create an innovative curriculum to
enhance pediatric resident trainee skills on nutrition related disease management. Dr.
Essel sits on the board of directors for the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and serves
as physician advisor for the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Veggies Early & Often”
campaign. Dr. Essel is a member of the executive committee for the American Academy of
Pediatrics Section on Obesity. He also co-authored a national toolkit for pediatric providers to
address food insecurity in their clinical settings with the AAP and FRAC. Dr. Essel earned a B.S.
from Emory University with a focus on human biology/anthropology and earned his M.D. and
M.P.H. in Epidemiology from GWU.

Amy Yaroch
Amy Yaroch
Executive Director
Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN)
Amy Yaroch
Executive Director
Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN)

Amy Yaroch, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN). She also holds a Special Dean’s appointment as Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, as well as an appointment as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Yaroch has over 20 years of experience in leading implementation of public health nutrition programs and evaluation efforts. Prior to joining GSCN, Dr. Yaroch was a Program Director and Behavioral Scientist at the National Cancer Institute where she worked across the areas of nutrition, dietary assessment, survey development, obesity prevention, and skin cancer prevention. Since joining GSCN in 2009, Dr. Yaroch has been leading efforts in childhood obesity prevention, food insecurity, food systems, and program and process evaluation. She is currently the Project Director on a 4-year cooperative agreement with USDA NIFA to lead the GusNIP National Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE). Dr. Yaroch has authored more than 170 papers, four book chapters, and has been awarded grants and contracts from federal and non-federal sources across a broad range of areas.

Alissa Wassung
Alissa Wassung
Executive Director
Food Is Medicine Coalition
Alissa Wassung
Executive Director
Food Is Medicine Coalition

Alissa brings more than a decade of dedicated policy and strategy skills to her role as the Executive Director of the Food is Medicine Coalition (FIMC), a national coalition of nonprofit organizations that provide medically tailored meals (MTMs) and groceries, medical nutrition therapy and nutrition counseling and education to people in communities across the country living with severe, complex and chronic illnesses. FIMC advances equitable access to these life-saving interventions through policy change, research and evaluation, and best practices. FIMC agencies created the medically tailored meal model and maintain the nutrition standards for the intervention. The Coalition offers a diverse community of learning for existing practitioners and equips new organizations to launch medically tailored meal programs. 

As the Policy Committee Chair of FIMC, Alissa has united diverse constituencies to advance the field of medically tailored food and nutrition. In her former role as the Senior Director of Policy & Planning at God’s Love We Deliver, she directed research endeavors, administered government funding and led cross-sector health policy and healthcare innovation. She was an Advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Food Is Medicine Research Initiative and represented FIMC on the Strategy Group for the Informing the White House Conference Coalition.

Rear Admiral Paul Reed
Rear Admiral Paul Reed
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health; Director
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Rear Admiral Paul Reed
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health; Director
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Rear Admiral (RDML) Paul Reed’s primary responsibility is to advise the Assistant Secretary for Health on disease prevention and health promotion programs and policies pursuant to Title XVII, Section 1701, of the Public Health Service Act. Additionally, RDML Reed provides direction and oversight for national health initiatives such as Healthy People 2030, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition.

Previously, RDML Reed served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Medicine and Science within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. In this role, he provided oversight, direction, and coordination of activities requiring expert medical analysis and advice, particularly those concerning policy, planning, formulation, and presentation of public health issues affecting HHS. He has held numerous leadership roles within HHS, including positions within the Office of the Surgeon General, the Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, and the U.S. Public Health Service. He has also coordinated the readiness and deployment of Commissioned Corps officers for domestic and international operations for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, civic assistance, emergency response, and training.

During his nearly 5-year tenure as an Associate Professor of Global Health in the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University, then CAPT Reed also held leadership positions as the Deputy Director at the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health and as the Interim Center Director and Director for Doctrine and Strategic Partnerships at the Center for Global Health Engagement.

He has received numerous awards, including 2 Meritorious Service Medals and the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal. He was recognized by HOSA-Future Health Professionals as their 2015 keynote speaker and the inaugural recipient of their National Health Professional Role Model award.

RDML Reed began his career as a uniformed medical officer with the U.S. Navy in 1994 after graduating from the Boston University School of Medicine. He served in this capacity for over 14 years, culminating as the Department Head of Pediatrics at the National Naval Medical Center in 2008. His clinical practice was in primary general pediatric care and pediatric rheumatology.

Ken Erickson
Ken Erickson
Founder and CEO
IQPay
Ken Erickson
Founder and CEO
IQPay

Ken Erickson is the founder and CEO of IQPay (www.iqpay.com), the revolutionary SaaS
platform used by over 4,000 companies for issuing Smart Digital Purchases at 36,000 retail
locations nationwide. With a 30-year leadership record in driving consumer and healthcare
engagement, Ken is now leveraging the IQPay platform to solving the last mile in Food as
Medicine engagement and behaviors.

Prior to IQPay, Ken founded Employer Direct Healthcare, a bundled care solution for healthcare
providers and employers, Global Choice Healthcare, the first international medical travel
network, and its domestic counterpart, Healthplace America, and Value America. Ken has been
sought out as a strategic adviser and partner for numerous ventures focused on healthcare
behaviors and outcomes, including St. Jude Medical, Health Lumen, and Audax, which became
Rally Health.

Deirdra Chester
Deirdra Chester
Director
Office of the Chief Scientist, United States Department of Agriculture
Deirdra Chester
Director
Office of the Chief Scientist, United States Department of Agriculture

Dr. Deirdra Chester serves as the Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS). In this role, she leads OCS in delivering science and research that undergirds the policies and practices of USDA and its customers and stakeholders. Additionally, she steers collaboration activities for USDA science programs that support scientific excellence, innovation, and capacity to achieve the Department’s mission. Prior to this role, Dr. Chester was with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) were she served as the Division Director for the Division of Nutrition. In this role, she provided leadership and oversight for the Division’s research, education, and Extension activities across the nation through competitive grant programs. Previously, Dr. Chester was the agency Science Advisor for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Before APHIS, she served as the National Program Leader for NIFA’s Applied Nutrition Research in the Division of Nutrition. Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Chester was a scientist at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. She is a skilled leader with a vast and deep knowledge of USDA programs.

Diane Harris
Diane Harris
Senior Health Scientist and Team Lead, Healthy Food Environments, Obesity Prevention and Control Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Diane Harris
Senior Health Scientist and Team Lead, Healthy Food Environments, Obesity Prevention and Control Branch, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Diane Harris, PhD MPH CHES is a Senior Health Scientist in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is Lead for the Healthy Food Environments Team (HFE) in the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch, which focuses on public heath actions to increase access to healthy and culturally relevant foods through policy, systems, and environmental change approaches.  Dr. Harris’ primary interest is supporting food and nutrition security through creating healthy food environments in worksites, healthcare, early care and education, schools, food banks/pantries and other government and community settings.  The HFE Team provides technical assistance and programmatic support to federal agencies and state, local, territorial, and tribal public health organizations working on implementing
institutional food service guidelines and on increasing access to and demand for healthy food, especially among socially disadvantaged communities. Before coming to CDC, Dr. Harris was Associate Researcher in the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Excellence in Pancreatic Diseases, where she directed a research program studying the activity of plant-derived anticancer compounds in pancreatic cancer in model systems.  She holds a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis; a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from Cornell University; and a M.P.H. in Prevention Science from Emory University.  She also trained as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at both Washington University in St. Louis and the University of California, Los Angeles.  Dr. Harris is a Certified Health Education Specialist and recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory. She also holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at Emory.

Nicholas Jury
Nicholas Jury
Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy, Office of Nutrition Research
National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Nicholas Jury
Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy, Office of Nutrition Research
National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Jury serves as the Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy and in this role, he is responsible for planning, analyzing, reporting, and communicating scientific, clinical, and policy issues and information in support of NIH nutrition research programs. He is also charged with coordinating the implementation efforts for the Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research. Additionally, Dr. Jury is responsible for implementing the NIH commitments within the Biden-Harris Administration National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Dr. Jury joined ONR as a health science policy analyst in April 2021. He spent five years with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as a science policy analyst focused on strengthening clinical data and biospecimen sharing policies, managing the NIH Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project, and producing reports to Congress before coming to the ONR. Prior to that, Dr. Jury was a senior fellow at the National Center for Health Research in Washington, D.C. where he made significant contributions to the 21st Century Cures Act and public health policies. He holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a B.S. in cell and molecular biology from Bradley University. He completed a two and a half-year postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) where he conducted research examining the effects of age, genetics, sex as a biological variable, and chronic alcohol exposure on brain morphology and related behavioral outcomes.

Rachel Fisher
Rachel Fisher
Acting Executive Director, The President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Rachel Fisher
Acting Executive Director, The President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Rachel Fisher is the acting Executive Director of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) in the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In this role, she works with Council members to educate, engage, and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. She also advises agency and departmental officials on current physical activity and nutrition science to inform policies and programs related to health promotion and disease prevention. Recently, Rachel served as the HHS Conference Coordinator of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and is now working to implement actions included in the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Prior to her work at ODPHP, Rachel spent almost 15 years in the Office of Nutrition Research at the National Institutes of Health.  Rachel is a registered dietitian and earned a Master of Science and Master of Public Health from the Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Anne Utech
Anne Utech
National Director, Nutrition and Food Services
Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs
Anne Utech
National Director, Nutrition and Food Services
Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs

On January 22, 2019, Dr. Utech was appointed for the Title 38 Senior Executive Service (SES) Equivalent position of National Director, Nutrition and Food Services (NFS), Veterans Health Administration – Central Office (VHA-CO), Washington, DC (virtual Houston, TX). In her appointment, Dr. Utech serves as the Nutrition Field Advisory Committee executive manager and oversee all NFS policies and programs, strategic planning, national external & internal partnerships, and serve as the VA’s primary subject matter expert for nutrition & food services.

From April 1, 2019 to March 25, 2020, Dr. Utech served as Acting Chief Officer for Specialty Care Services, Veterans Health Administration – Central Office (VHA-CO), Washington, DC. In this capacity, she led 26 medical specialties, national program directors, and programs in an interim capacity.

She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Her professional interests are environmental sustainability in procurement/waste streams, promoting and conducting nutrition research, expanding strategic partnerships for greater impacts, and data analytics to improve Veteran outcomes.

Recent awards include being the 2015 Commencement Speaker and Hallmark Alumni Awardee at Texas Woman’s University. Recent peer-reviewed publications have been on the topics of nutrition support, nutrition education and diabetes.

Christine Going
Christine Going
Senior Advisor for the Food Security Program Office
Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs
Christine Going
Senior Advisor for the Food Security Program Office
Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs

Christine Going, EdD, MPA, RD, FACHE is the Senior Advisor for the Food Security Program Office and the Co-Chairperson for the Veterans Health Administration’s Ensuring Veterans Food Security Workgroup. She is a Registered Dietitian and an American College of Healthcare Executives fellow. Dr. Going has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for over 30 years. She started at the Northport VAMC, in Long Island, New York, as an Administrative Dietitian and has worked in many positions with increasing responsibility ranging in fields from a Health System Specialist for Neurology, Orthopedics, and Nuclear Medicine, to the Quality Manager, to the Health System Specialist to the VISN Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Going recently served as the Chief of Nutrition and Food Services at the Northport VAMC prior to her role as the Executive Officer to the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Clinical Services. Dr. Going received her Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in nutrition science and clinical nutrition and completed her field placement at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York. She earned a Masters of Public Administration in healthcare administration from Long Island University and her Doctorate in organizational change and leadership at the University of Southern California.

Sarah Downer
Sarah Downer
Health Insurance Specialist, State and Population Health Group, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Sarah Downer
Health Insurance Specialist, State and Population Health Group, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Sarah Downer joined CMMI in 2022 as a Health Insurance Specialist in the State and Population Health Group, where she focuses on developing and implementing components of the Innovation Center’s strategy related to social determinants of health. Prior to her work at CMMI, she served as Associate Director of the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation (CHLPI), leading CHLPI’s Whole Person Care initiative and the Social Determinants of Health Law Lab. This body of work analyzed opportunities to integrate novel services and supports into health care delivery and financing and explored legal barriers to scaling innovation within the health care system. Sarah has authored several policy reports and articles on increasing access to food and nutrition services in health care. Sarah holds a BA from Harvard College and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Sheila Fleischhaker
Sheila Fleischhaker
Senior Advisor for Nutrition Security
United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service on joint detail with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Sheila Fleischhaker
Senior Advisor for Nutrition Security
United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service on joint detail with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Dr. Sheila Fleischhacker is the Senior Technical Advisor for Nutrition Security on joint detail between the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In this role, she helped host the USDA’s first National Nutrition Security and Healthcare Summit and advise on other ways the USDA can better integrate nutrition and health. She previously served as the Senior Advisor of Nutrition and Food Safety at USDA Office of the Chief Scientist (2017-2018), on detail from the National Institutes of Health (2012-2018) and helped put forth the first-of-its kind National Nutrition Research Roadmap and chaired a USDA Inter-Departmental Nutrition Workshop Series. Sheila received her B.S. in 2000 and J.D. in 2007, with a Certificate in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago and a Ph.D. in Integrative Biosciences/Nutritional Sciences from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004. Her post-doctoral training focused on urban and regional planning and public health nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She completed her R.D.N. internship through a distance program at Iowa State University in 2018. She was admitted into the Illinois Bar in November 2007. She is an adjunct professor for Georgetown University teaching nutrition law and policy since 2013 and has co-taught the first 1,000 days for three terms thus far.

Robin McKinnon
Robin McKinnon
Senior Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Robin McKinnon
Senior Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Robin McKinnon is a Senior Advisor for Nutrition Policy at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Dr. McKinnon works to advance FDA’s nutrition policy initiatives across CFSAN, including those outlined in the White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Prior to joining FDA, Dr. McKinnon was a Health Policy Specialist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health. At NCI, Dr. McKinnon led policy-relevant research activities on diet, obesity and physical activity. Dr. McKinnon has a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from the George Washington University and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Jean Terranova
Jean Terranova
Senior Director of Policy and Research
Community Servings
Jean Terranova
Senior Director of Policy and Research
Community Servings

Jean Terranova is Senior Director of Policy and Research at Community Servings, a Boston-based not-for-profit that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals to individuals experiencing serious illness. 

Jean has served as a co-investigator in published studies examining the impact of Community Servings’ medically tailored meals on health outcomes and healthcare  utilization and costs.  Currently Jean is the site principal investigator for two large-scale NIH studies examining the impact of Community Servings’ meals on health outcomes for individuals with diabetes and food insecurity; for those with HIV, diabetes, and food insecurity; and for individuals receiving Community Servings’ meals through a MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration.  Jean is also on the Leadership Team of the Food is Medicine Coalition’s Accelerator Program.  A graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Jean has worn many hats as a social justice attorney and advocate. Jean also holds a professional chef’s degree from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and co-chairs the Research Committee of the Food is Medicine Coalition, serves on the Advisory Board of the Root Cause Coalition, and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Aspen Institute’s Food is Medicine Initiative.  

 

Sherry Frey
Sherry Frey
Vice President, Total Wellness
NielsenIQ
Sherry Frey
Vice President, Total Wellness
NielsenIQ

With a background in market research, innovation, and consulting, Sherry has elevated clients across the fresh, CPG, and wellness industries, providing forward-thinking insights and practical strategies. In addition to leading NielsenIQ’s Total Wellness team and industry engagement, Sherry has been a featured speaker at many national and international industry events, and is often sought as a media and analyst resource on topics related to consumer health, wellness, and environmental issues. Sherry’s view of health and wellness spans beyond personal health and wellness, encompassing how we collectively think about the health of the planet.

Jacob Mirsky
Jacob Mirsky
Medical Director
Massachusetts General Hospital Revere Food Pantry
Jacob Mirsky
Medical Director
Massachusetts General Hospital Revere Food Pantry

Jacob Mirsky, MD, MA, DipABLM is a primary care physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Revere HealthCare Center. Dr. Mirsky attended medical school at the University of California San Francisco and completed residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as part of the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates primary care track. He is double board-certified in Internal Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine.

Dr. Mirsky views healthy lifestyle changes, through patient education and empowerment, as the cornerstone of health. In addition to his primary care practice, he leads Lifestyle Medicine group medical visits (also called shared medical appointments) in primary care for symptom management and disease prevention. Dr. Mirsky co-founded and is the Medical Director of the MGH Division of General Internal Medicine Healthy Lifestyle Program (HLP); the HLP has a vision of establishing healthy lifestyle change as the standard of care for preventing and treating chronic disease. He has received several awards to spread lifestyle-focused group medical visits at MGH, including the MGH Department of Medicine Phoenix Project Award and the MGH Springboard Studio iSolve Grand Prize. He also serves as the Assistant Course Director of Harvard Medical School’s Herbert Benson, MD Course in Mind Body Medicine, and he is the MGH Representative on the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Health Systems Council.

Dr. Mirsky also founded the MGH Revere Food Pantry in 2019; he is now its Medical Director. The MGH Revere Food Pantry treats both food insecurity and chronic disease by providing free plant-based foods to patients with food insecurity. To further advocate for food insecurity interventions, he served as a member of the MGH Executive Committee on Community Health and the White House Office of Public Engagement Health Equity Leaders Roundtable Series. He currently serves on the Mass General Brigham Nutrition Security and Equity Workgroup and the Greater Boston Food Bank Health and Research Council.

Dr. Mirsky has published on a wide range of topics, including neurologic disease, patient communication, and primary care redesign. He studied physician burnout while in residency and helped found the Resident Wellness Committee in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Internal Medicine residency program, where he was also a member of the Management and Leadership Track. He received multiple awards for his research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, including the Martin P. Solomon Primary Care Scholarship Award and the Department of Medicine Education Innovations Grant. He is now part of teams researching the HLP and the MGH Revere Food Pantry.

Mitchell Elkind
Mitchell Elkind
Chief Clinical Science Officer
American Heart Association
Mitchell Elkind
Chief Clinical Science Officer
American Heart Association

Dr. Mitchell Elkind is the American Heart Association’s Chief Clinical Science Officer and serves as the senior staff science leader for all Association initiatives related to stroke, brain health and new integrated efforts including cardio-renal-metabolic health. Previously, he was president of the American Heart Association for 2020-21, a tenured Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology and Chief of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Sciences in the Neurology Department at Columbia University.

As Chief Clinical Science Officer, Dr. Elkind’s trusted voice, collaborative approach, and extensive clinical knowledge and experience are instrumental to ensuring the Association’s next generation research efforts are patient-centered, highly participatory and inclusive of all populations.

Dr Elkind’s research focuses on stroke prevention, inflammatory and infectious biomarkers in stroke risk prediction, atrial cardiopathy, immune therapy for acute stroke, and vascular causes of cognitive aging. He is a principal investigator of federally-funded studies examining atrial cardiopathy in cryptogenic stroke; stroke risk factors; short-term high-dose statin therapy in acute stroke; and inflammation in stroke treatment.

Dr. Elkind has a longstanding commitment to medical education and research training. In addition to leading the Columbia Neurology residency and fellowship programs, he served as editor of the AHA/ASA Stroke journal’s International Stroke Early Career and Training Section. He also runs National Institutes of Health-funded research training programs for residents and fellows.

As a long-time AHA volunteer, Dr. Elkind has served on numerous leadership committees, including three terms on the National Board of Directors, two terms as chairperson of the ASA Advisory Committee (2016-20), and is a past chairperson of the Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee (2020-21), Manuscript Oversight Committee, Awards Subcommittee, and a past co-chair of the Governance Committee (2021-22). Dr. Elkind has served on numerous writing committees for guidelines and scientific statements including co-chairing the writing committee for the 2012 scientific statement on the inclusion of stroke as an outcome and risk equivalent in vascular disease risk scores.

In 2021, Dr. Elkind was honored with the Association’s Distinguished National Leadership Award for his significant contributions to our mission, especially in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Emily Rider
Emily Rider
Nutrition Program Development Manager
Kroger
Emily Rider
Nutrition Program Development Manager
Kroger

Emily Rider, RDN, LD is responsible for developing key Food as Medicine programs and serving as a subject matter expert for The Kroger Co. Nearly 5 years ago, she began her Kroger career working with patients directly and most recently served as supervisor of the registered dietitian field team before moving into her current role. Emily also has her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from Duke University and is currently pursuing her MBA at Northern Kentucky University.

Jennifer Hatcher
Jennifer Hatcher
Chief Public Policy Officer
FMI
Jennifer Hatcher
Chief Public Policy Officer
FMI

Jennifer’s passion for the value of community and business associations has deep roots, emanating from her family’s ownership of three diverse small businesses in her native Knoxville, Tennessee.  Here she experienced the valued camaraderie, creativity and the positive impact of trade associations — goals she has sought to achieve throughout her professional career.

Jennifer serves as Chief Public Policy Officer for FMI – the Food Industry Association overseeing FMI’s federal, state and regulatory efforts on public policy, legislative and political issues impacting the food industry. Jennifer has supported the expansion and growing complexity of the association for the past two decades that now includes retail, wholesale and manufacturing operations reflecting the full spectrum of the supply
chain.  She has been involved in leading successful advocacy efforts to reform the debit card marketplace; legislate and implement the Food Safety Modernization Act; and to preserve the confidentiality of business data via a U.S. Supreme Court case, FMI v. Argus Leader.

Jennifer has been recognized by the industry as a Top Woman in Grocery, 2016; and as one of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists, 2020, 2021. She was recognized in 2022 as Association Lobbyist of the Year by CEO Update.

Previously, Jennifer served as Chief of Staff to United States Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL), later Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee; Special Assistant and White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Treasury during President George H.W. Bush’s Administration; and a White House intern during President Ronald Reagan’s Administration. Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in
Political Science and Communication from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in Government from Johns Hopkins University.

In her volunteer work, Jennifer is immediate past Chair of the Board of the Friends of the National Arboretum (2019-2021), charting a successful path for growth for the organization during an incredibly challenging time for non-profits. She is also a member of the DC Board of Directors of Common Threads providing children and families cooking and nutrition education.

Krystal Register
Krystal Register
Senior Director, Health & Wellbeing
FMI
Krystal Register
Senior Director, Health & Wellbeing
FMI

Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND is the Senior Director of Health and Well-being at FMI –
The Food Industry Association. She serves as the lead coordinator and subject matter expert for
nutrition, health and well-being policy, programs and activities, operations, and communication
issues across the food industry for FMI members and community collaborators.
Krystal was a food retail dietitian with Wegmans for twelve years prior to joining FMI and made
significant contributions to company-wide wellness programs, consumer health messaging,
employee wellness, community events, and local media response in the National Capital
Region. Krystal’s background includes environmental and nutrition science studies with degrees
from the College of William and Mary and James Madison University, with both clinical and
personal coaching professional experience.
Krystal currently serves as Chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals (FCP) Dietetic Practice
Group and has previously served as Supermarket/Retail Subgroup Chair, Treasurer, and
Membership Chair. She also serves on many national advisory committees, to include Portion
Balance Coalition, USDA’s MyPlate Strategic Partners, National Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
Coalition, and Retail Dietitian Business Alliance.

Melissa Habedank
Melissa Habedank
Vice President
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
Melissa Habedank
Vice President
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)

Melissa Habedank is the Vice President at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), where she leads evidence-to-action programs, drives policy change using research, and manages public relations opportunities.  Prior to joining AICR, Melissa was Director of Strategy and Innovation, and Interim Director of Quality Improvement, for OLE Health, a multi-county network of federally-qualified health centers in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Melissa previously worked as a federal lobbyist and in the U.S. Congress for Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), managing health policy.  She also worked in East Africa and Southeast Asia on topics ranging from labor and sex trafficking, to child drug use, to HIV prevention, to social services infrastructure, and more.  Melissa holds a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Gustavus Adolphus College. 

Josh Hix
Josh Hix
Co-founder and CEO
Season Health
Josh Hix
Co-founder and CEO
Season Health

Josh is co-founder and CEO of Season Health, the only integrated Food-as-Medicine Platform that enables people to eat well and live well. By combining evidence-based clinical care with access to affordable medically-tailored meals and groceries, Season empowers individuals and their families to make informed, sustainable choices, measurably improving both health outcomes and quality of life. Josh is also co-founder and former CEO of Plated, which shipped millions of meals to over 95% of the United States before being acquired by Albertsons grocery brands in 2017. He has a lifelong interest in health and nutrition. Josh received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Susan Benigas
Susan Benigas
Executive Director
ACLM
Susan Benigas
Executive Director
ACLM

Susan Benigas has served as the executive director of ACLM since 2015. Her background includes running political campaigns and serving in executive, senior management and consultant roles for organizations ranging from professional sports and media to healthcare technology and worksite health promotion. It was while president of a worksite health promotion company that she had the paradigm-shift leading to her life’s passion: She questioned the status quo approach to “wellness”— all too often to diagnose and medicate—as opposed to a primary focus on identifying and eradicating the cause of disease. 

Prior to joining ACLM, Susan founded the not-for-profit The Plantrician Project and co-founded the International Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference, showcasing the efficacy of whole food, plant-based nutrition in its ability to prevent, suspend and often even reverse much of the chronic, degenerative disease pervasive in the U.S. and in many countries around the world.  She serves on the board of directors for the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. 

William Li
William Li
President
The Angiogenesis Foundation
William Li
President
The Angiogenesis Foundation
Luisa Furstenberg-Beckman
Luisa Furstenberg-Beckman
Produce Prescription Program Manager
DC Greens
Luisa Furstenberg-Beckman
Produce Prescription Program Manager
DC Greens

Luisa Furstenberg-Beckman is the Manager of the Produce Rx program at DC Greens. She brings her experience in community health and food access in order to provide prescriptions for fresh produce to DC residents on Medicaid. Originally from Philadelphia, Luisa has spent the past ten years implementing and managing community health programming, specifically around nutrition, urban gardening, HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual health education. While getting her MPH in Nutrition at UNC Chapel-Hill, Luisa became a certified ACA healthcare navigator and dove deep into the complexities of the health care system. She currently sits on the National Produce Prescription Collaborative (NPPC) steering committee to advocate for integrating Produce Prescriptions into the healthcare system. 

Kristin Sukys
Kristin Sukys
Health Policy Specialist
DC Greens
Kristin Sukys
Health Policy Specialist
DC Greens

Kristin Sukys (she/her) is a freelance Food is Medicine Consultant working to boost nutrition security and health equity across our food and health care systems in the US.  As a Health Policy Consultant with DC Greens, she manages DC Greens’ Food is Medicine portfolio, focusing on increasing access to produce prescription programs and coordinating Food is Medicine advocacy  in the District. She also co-facilitates the National Produce Prescription Collaborative (NPPC) State Policy Working Group to equip produce prescription advocates with the education, tools and resources necessary to successfully advocate for state-level policy change.

Curt Ellis
Curt Ellis
Co-Founder and CEO
FoodCorps
Curt Ellis
Co-Founder and CEO
FoodCorps

Curt Ellis is a parent and a leader in the movement to ensure all children experience food justice and education equity. He pursues this vision as co-founder and CEO of FoodCorps, a national nonprofit that partners with schools and communities to advance student health, education, and belonging. Prior to starting FoodCorps, Curt helped reframe public debate around the Farm Bill as a “food bill” when he co-created the Peabody-winning documentary King Corn. A graduate of Yale, Curt has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, a Claneil Foundation Emerging Leader, a Kellogg Food and Community Fellow, a New Profit Social Entrepreneur, and an Emerson Collective Dial Fellow, and is a recipient of the Heinz Award, Pearl Award, and GQ Leader Award. He serves on the steering committee of Voices for National Service and the Board of Directors for Springboard Collaborative and GreenWave.

Mallory Koenings
Mallory Koenings
National Program Leader, Division of Nutrition
Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture
Mallory Koenings
National Program Leader, Division of Nutrition
Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture

Mallory Koenings, PhD, RDN is a National Program Leader in the Division of Nutrition, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA (NIFA).  Previously at NIFA, she provided national program leadership to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Web-based Nutrition Education, Evaluation, and Reporting System (WebNEERS) as the National EFNEP Coordinator, to advance the science of nutrition education and deliver enhanced low-income national nutrition education programs and services to consumers throughout the United States, District of Columbia, and the Territories. She also provided programmatic support for the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area Program and the AFRI Function and Efficacy of Nutrients Foundational Program. In a Special Assignment to the Office of the Director she provided support and leadership to the Science Program and Analysis Officer.

Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Koenings specialized in designing and implementing databases for reliable public health data collection and analysis, adapting health education to meet the needs of specific populations via web-delivered interventions and mobile applications, especially young adults and preschool children. She has authored publications in journals, such as the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Advances in Nutrition, and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Her expertise spans healthy lifestyle behaviors, nutrition, physical activity, stress, alcohol, and sleep, paying special attention to environmental influences on nutrition and health.

Dr. Koenings has received a number of awards and honors, which include being named an ASN Translational Research Award Competition Finalist, the NIFA, USDA Director’s Team Award, and the USDA’s Abraham Lincoln Honor Award. She served as Chair of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Higher Education Division 2016-2019.

Dr. Koenings received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences, and a certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.  She earned her doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in the built environment and health behaviors from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She completed her dietetic internship at West Virginia University, and post-doctoral fellowships at West Virginia University and Rutgers University. Dr. Koenings also received a Certificate in Public Leadership from Brookings Executive Education.

Akua Kathy Woolbright
Akua Kathy Woolbright
Global Nutrition Program Director
Whole Foods Market
Akua Kathy Woolbright
Global Nutrition Program Director
Whole Foods Market

Dr. Akua Woolbright, Ph.D., is an authoritative expert on nutrition with a passion for helping individuals and communities create healthier lives. Her extensive work in underserved communities has empowered people of all ages to overcome harmful eating habits and to prevent and reverse disease through plant-based diets. As National Nutrition Program Director at Whole Cities Foundation, Dr. Woolbright conducts weekly healthy eating lectures, cooking demonstrations, and support groups for hundreds of students in Detroit, Chicago, Newark, and other cities around the nation. Dr. Woolbright earned her Ph.D. in nutritional science from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tambra Raye Stevenson
Tambra Raye Stevenson
Founder & CEO
WANDA
Tambra Raye Stevenson
Founder & CEO
WANDA

Tambra Raye Stevenson, MPH, MA, is an acclaimed community health innovator, patent holder, author, and policymaker. As the founder of WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics, and Agriculture, Tambra is on a mission to silo smash generations, geographies, and sectors to change the narrative and build a pipeline of Black women and girls leading healthier communities through sustainable food systems in Africa and the diaspora. Additionally, she established NATIVSOL Kitchen, providing crucial Pan-African nutrition education to promote the use of culturally significant foods as a pathway to improved health and well-being.

 

She celebrates the intersection of food, culture, and identity. This year she served as the guest editor of Eating Well, producing a breakout piece with a talented team of chefs, dietitians, and scholars entitled: “African Heritage Diet as Medicine: How Black Food Can Heal the Community.” And in 2022, Tambra graced the renowned TEDx stage with her inspiring message on how Black women are reclaiming their food as medicine. Her bilingual children’s WANDA book series encourages the reclamation of African foodways as medicine across Africa and the diaspora and inspires young readers to embrace their cultural heritage. Tambra’s contributions to a forthcoming UK-based food-inspired anthology, “Serving Up: Essays on Food, Identity, and Culture,” further exemplify her dedication to promoting a more inclusive narrative surrounding food and its impact on communities.

 

She holds esteemed food board positions that shape government, industry, and academic policy agendas.  As an executive board member of the USDA’s National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, she contributes her insights to advance agricultural research and education for improved nutrition outcomes. She serves on the D.C. Food Policy Council, where she co-chairs the nutrition and health working group, driving initiatives that promote access to healthy and culturally appropriate food for all residents. Furthermore, her involvement with the Tufts University Food and Nutrition Innovation Council and the Milken Institute’s Food as Medicine Advisory Board underscores her dedication to nutrition security.

 

As a Ph.D. candidate at the American University School of Communication, she researches the intersection of media, technology, and health. Her involvement as a communication researcher on the Wasted Food Research Network, a National Science Foundation-funded initiative. She also holds a B.S. in Human Nutrition with a minor in Spanish from Oklahoma State University. She studied community health in the Dominican Republic as a recipient of the prestigious David L. Boren National Security Scholarship. Tambra earned her MPH in Health Communication from Tufts University School of Medicine and pursued MBA coursework in entrepreneurship and healthcare marketing at Boston University Graduate School of Management.

 

Gaining experience in the social determinants of health, Tambra began her public service career serving in the Secretary’s office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, the Executive Office of the D.C. Mayor on Women’s Policy and Initiatives, D.C. Victim Services, and at the University of the District of Columbia’s Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health.

Stacy Bates
Stacy Bates
Director H-E-B Wellness Nutrition Strategy
H-E-B
Stacy Bates
Director H-E-B Wellness Nutrition Strategy
H-E-B

Stacy Bates is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with
over 15 years of experience in nutrition communications, wellness
education, strategic marketing, and healthcare business operations. Stacy
demonstrates with passion how food and nutrition can enhance overall
well-being as a foundational aspect of health. A dynamic presenter with a
diverse background in adult education, clinical dietetics, and nutrition
strategy, Stacy brings a broad range of professional experiences to enhance
her nutrition communication skills.

Today, Stacy leads H-E-B’s Wellness Nutrition Strategy Team, connecting H-E-B’s core retail
business to H-E-B’s new line of business in Wellness Primary Care Services. At H-E-B, registered
dietitians provide food and nutrition expertise and play a vital role in impacting health literacy
and empowering wellness options for Texans. Her team’s efforts focus on foundational nutrition
data, wellness nutrition content, and wellness nutrition education.
For her leadership in the space of retail health and wellness, Stacy earned the 2016 Progressive
Grocer Dietitian of the Year Award. She currently serves as chair of the Food Marketing
Association’s Health and Wellbeing Committee, as an advisory council member for the Produce
for Better Health Coalition and as an advisory member for the Retail Dietitian’s Business
Alliance. Before becoming a retail dietitian, Stacy gained valuable knowledge in marketing and
education through her work in industry and healthcare.
Stacy received her bachelor’s in nutrition science from Texas A&M University and completed her
master’s degree in human sciences with a minor in Adult Education from Texas A&M University
in Kingsville. Stacy currently resides in Cypress, TX with her husband, Colin, and two sons, Luke
and Clay. When Stacy is not working on connecting food and health, she enjoys spending time
participating in youth sports activities and supporting local community health initiatives.

Ellis Singer McCue
Ellis Singer McCue
CEO
Territory Foods
Ellis Singer McCue
CEO
Territory Foods
Amanda Velazquez
Amanda Velazquez
Director of Obesity Medicine
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Amanda Velazquez
Director of Obesity Medicine
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Amanda Velazquez is an obesity medicine and nutrition specialist and the Director of Obesity Medicine in the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Velazquez graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree in Nutrition, with honors, and received her MD from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She did internal medicine residency at Indiana University School of Medicine: Indianapolis and subsequently completed the Nutrition and Obesity Medicine fellowship program at Boston University School of Medicine.  She is passionate in improving patient access to treatments for obesity, reducing health disparities and cultivating preventive medicine efforts in healthcare.  Her research interests have focused on pharmacotherapy treatments of obesity, ways to enhance undergraduate and graduate medical education of obesity medicine and nutrition, as well as reducing weight bias and stigma among healthcare professionals.   

 

Rachel Landauer
Rachel Landauer
Clinical Instructor
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School
Rachel Landauer
Clinical Instructor
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School

Rachel Landauer is a Clinical Instructor at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School. She primarily focuses on the Center’s Whole Person Care initiatives, where she provides technical assistance and policy advocacy to support partnerships and programming that break down silos between the health care and social services sectors. Rachel is especially passionate about building the capacity of organizations, through resource development, trainings, and other tools, to navigate health care regulatory and compliance matters such as patient privacy laws as they apply to interventions that address health-related social needs.

Ipyana Spencer
Ipyana Spencer
Chief Health Officer
Meals on Wheels America
Ipyana Spencer
Chief Health Officer
Meals on Wheels America

Ipyana is the inaugural Chief Health Officer with Meals on Wheels America. In her role, she oversees the development and growth of Meals on Wheels Health, a newly strategic initiative of Meals on Wheels America that aims to partner with health care payors and health systems to expand the impact and scope of local Meals on Wheels services to seniors and vulnerable adults who are managing multiple chronic conditions or recovering from recent hospitalizations.

Ipyana comes to Meals on Wheels America with more than 20 years of diverse, cross industry experience across the legislative, public policy, health care and data analytics arenas.

Ipyana’s experience in the healthcare sector includes eight years at the country’s largest health and wellness company, UnitedHealth Group. Ipyana worked as the Vice President of Industry Outreach and External Affairs, where she was responsible to cultivating relationships with key external advocacy and consumer organizations to promote policy and regulatory priorities of UnitedHealth Group. She also served as the Vice President of Community and Strategic Engagement of UnitedHealthcare Community and State, where she established and managed a team to lead and support strategic initiatives that aligned with the Medicaid division’s business development and growth priorities.

Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, Ipyana worked in the legislative, political, and public policy sectors for almost a decade.  She served as a senior legislative staffer to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey, both of New York. She also was the Deputy Finance Director on the U.S. Senate and 2004 Presidential Campaign for U.S. Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. Ipyana also worked as a Government Affairs Consultant where she advised, crafted and executed legislative and regulatory outreach strategies for her clients.

Ipyana is currently on the Board of Communities in School Northern Virginia.

Susan Topping
Susan Topping
Sr. Director of Food, Policy & Impact
Capital Area Food Bank
Susan Topping
Sr. Director of Food, Policy & Impact
Capital Area Food Bank

Susan Topping is the Sr. Director of Food, Policy & Impact at the Capital Area Food Bank. In her current role, Susan focuses on developing strategic partnerships with healthcare and workforce development institutions to help address food insecurity’s root causes. She also oversees the CAFB’s Nutrition Education team. In previous roles, Susan has overseen sustainable food growing projects, nutrition and food systems education, and, most recently, the management of the CAFB’s relationships with its 450+ nonprofit partners, creating critical capacity building initiatives to enable targeted food distribution in areas of greatest need.

Patricia Quinn
Patricia Quinn
Vice President of Partnerships & Policy
DC Primary Care Association
Patricia Quinn
Vice President of Partnerships & Policy
DC Primary Care Association

Patricia Quinn has more than 20 years of experience promoting the health and wellbeing of children, youth and families through public policy analysis, advocacy, and organizing. As Vice President of Policy and Partnership at the DC Primary Care Association, Patricia works to ensure that community health centers and the patients they serve will thrive in a health care environment focused on improving outcomes and reducing costs. She leads DCPCA efforts to build accountability for individual and community well-being across all sectors of the health ecosystem in DC, with particular focus on the integration of structural and social determinants of health, direct community engagement, value payment reform, and innovation.

Sarah Fleisch
Sarah Fleisch
Senior Director of Policy Research and Development
Instacart
Sarah Fleisch
Senior Director of Policy Research and Development
Instacart

Sarah Fleisch is the Senior Director of Policy Research and Development at Instacart, where she leads the development of Instacart’s core policy positions and proactive policy agenda. Sarah spearheaded the development of the Instacart Health Policy Agenda, which was released as part of the launch of Instacart Health in September 2022, and she leads Instacart’s continued work on nutrition security and food is medicine policy and research. Sarah is passionate about the intersections between public policy, research and the company’s products and mission.

 

Sarah previously served as the Vice President for Policy and Strategy at the National Partnership for Women & Families. Before joining the National Partnership, Sarah worked as an Associate at Hogan Lovells, where she counseled clients on labor and employment issues. Sarah started her career at the Center for American Progress. She holds degrees from Northwestern University and Georgetown University Law Center.

Holly Freishtat
Holly Freishtat
Senior Director of Feeding Change
Milken Institute
Holly Freishtat
Senior Director of Feeding Change
Milken Institute

Ms. Freishtat is the Senior Director of Feeding Change with the Milken Institute. She is an experienced director, transformative leader and strategist with a 20-year track record developing and implementing food system policies and programs. Holly served as Baltimore City’s first Food Policy Director and Chief of Food Policy & Planning where she founded and directed the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative. Holly spent over a decade building an equitable and resilient food environment by creating policies and programs that directly impact health & economic disparities. As a result, Baltimore City has become internationally renowned for innovative food governance and leadership. Holly has received national and international recognition for her public speaking skills and food systems expertise. She has presented at 125 international and national speaking engagements and has been interviewed by CNN, NBC, Huffington Post, Politico and the Associated Press. In addition, Holly has been awarded numerous accolades for her contributions to food systems, including the Mayors Medallion for Meritorious Service Award, Maryland Daily Record’s Top 100 women, and the 2016 Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Award. Freishtat has served as a food systems strategist, agricultural marketing director, nutrition educator, and grower. She holds an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, a B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Vermont, and an executive certificate from Carey Business School.

Corby Kummer
Corby Kummer
Executive Director of Food & Society
Aspen Institute
Corby Kummer
Executive Director of Food & Society
Aspen Institute

Corby Kummer is executive director of Food & Society at the Aspen Institute, a senior lecturer at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science, and a senior editor of The Atlantic, for which he was a longtime food columnist and originated a vertical on food, sustainability, policy, and food justice. He attended the Loomis-Chafee School and received a BA from Yale College.

He is the author of The Joy of Coffee and The Pleasures of Slow Food, the first book in English on the Slow Food movement, and has been restaurant critic of New York, Boston, and Atlanta Magazines and a food and food policy columnist for The New Republic. One of the country’s most widely quoted experts on food justice and food culture in the United States, he is a featured commentator on food and food policy every week on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio. He has received six James Beard Journalism Awards.

Susan Bratton
Susan Bratton
CEO & Founder
Savor Health
Susan Bratton
CEO & Founder
Savor Health
Livleen Gill
Livleen Gill
President and CEO
Apostle Group
Livleen Gill
President and CEO
Apostle Group

Ms. Gill is the President and CEO of Apostle Group, LLC, a consulting and service delivery company that provides innovative solutions to clients in healthcare, food and nutrition since 2013. She is also the CEO of the Wholesome Village Inc., in Rockville, Md. Prior to this she has extensive experience working in various healthcare settings in both clinical and managerial roles. She has been a strong advocate for nutrition counseling and medically tailored meals to help individuals achieve better health outcomes in underserved communities for over a decade. She has worked closely with Maryland Department of Health and Aging in developing new programs and services to serve communities across the state. She recently served on Medicare’s MACRA chronic disease committee and diabetes sub-committee. Under Ms. Gill’s leadership, Apostle Group was accepted as a Care Transformation Organization (CTO) in the Maryland Primary Care Program (MDPCP)with the responsibility of assisting other small practices in the state achieve an advanced level of primary care. Ms. Gill has co-authored numerous publications relating to reimbursement and new healthcare delivery models and is a sought-after speaker on nutrition and reimbursement. She was awarded the Maryland Outstanding Dietitian Award in 2019. She is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Elect for 2023-2024.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker
Chairman and CEO
Performance Kitchen
Mark Walker
Chairman and CEO
Performance Kitchen

Mark Walker, Chairman and CEO of Performance Kitchen, the leading Food Is Medicine® company revolutionizing the US Healthcare System. Performance Kitchen specializes in the use of Medically Tailored Meals to treat chronic disease. Mark is one of the leading experts in the country on the new industry of Food Is Medicine, which is the application of healthy food paid for by the US Healthcare System. Mark is a CPA and the founder of Dugout Ventures, an athlete-based investment group with Hall of Fame baseball player partners like David Ortiz, Nolan Ryan and Barry Larkin.

Ken Neumann
Ken Neumann
Founder and CEO
Youtopia
Ken Neumann
Founder and CEO
Youtopia

Ken Neumann is the passionate founder and CEO of Youtopia, focused on “Making Vibrant Health and Longevity to 120 a Simple and Achievable Reality” for all. A visionary entrepreneur with an engineering and business background, he excels in identifying opportunities and leading transformative ventures. He has driven over $500 million in annual revenue and $5 billion in total revenue in diverse industries. Ken’s ventures span pharmaceuticals, energy tech, software, team development, and real estate. Recognized by Training Magazine as a Top 12 CEO, his businesses earned prestigious awards like the National Housing Quality Award and Top Technology Company of the Year.

Partner with Us

Bringing together senior-level executives from across the industry, the Food as Medicine: Policy Summit promises an unrivalled networking and learning opportunity for everyone working in this space.

This forum provides a rare opportunity to showcase your offering to a dedicated, world-class audience. Spaces are limited this year!

Please contact our Commercial Manager Tom (tom@greygreenmedia.com), to discuss opportunities for involvement.

Partnership +
Partner with Us

Partners

Knowledge Partners

Payments should be digital. Digital meets people where they are: on their phones. Digital is instant. It’s efficient. It’s convenient. It can be filtered to specific products and services. Digital engages. Digital matches individuals with their transactions and behaviors.

IQPay is leading the digital payment future with digital payments unlike anything you’ve seen.

Learn More

NielsenIQ is the world’s leading consumer intelligence company.  Our Total Wellness practice reveals what consumers think, feel, and do, forming trends and insights across the food nutrition and health spectrum. From personal health to the health of the planet and the social responsibility for others, always with a holistic retail read and delivered with advanced analytics and insights through state-of-the-art platforms—NIQ delivers the Full View

Learn More 

Savor Health is a digital health company that provides precision nutrition interventions to cost effectively manage and reverse chronic disease.
Proprietary Expert Platform applies guidelines-based nutrition science to each patient’s unique profile to optimize treatment outcomes and lower total cost of care.
Contextually relevant nutrition guidance delivered 24/7 “on demand” via SMS text with Virtual Dietitian-on-Demand, Ina® combined with seamless “last mile” meal and grocery delivery.
Market leading results:70% engagement, 87% satisfaction, likelihood to recommend 4.3 out of 5.

Learn More 

Season Health is the leading food-as-medicine platform that enables people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease to eat well and live well. Combining clinical nutrition care, meal recommendations, education, and food delivery into one comprehensive solution, Season aims to help more people see food as a healthy pleasure and create a world well fed.

Learn More 

Our massively transformative purpose is to make optimizing your health with precision nourishment a simple and achievable reality for all of us. You are unique, and we believe in your optimized best. We happily provide you with the nourishment that’s 100% inspired by you and meets your body’s needs. Precision Nourishment is a journey and a promise that’s within reach with Youtopia.

Learn More

Our mission is to empower people to live life to the fullest. Performance Kitchen provides the next generation of chronic disease management through healthy medically tailored meals, paid for by insurance and delivered directly to your home. We are focused on great taste, convenience, and nutrition through our wide variety of culturally inspired meals. Our team of chefs, doctors and registered dietitians develop a variety of ready-made meals with real, wholesome, clean ingredients. We are leading the Food is Medicine® movement with various health care payors and providers who are offering to pay for meals for their members to address chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and renal disease.

 

Learn More

Exhibitors
The Farmers’ Truck began in 2015 by operating a mobile farmers’ market in Eastern Canada.
Today, The Farmers’ Truck empowers organizations across North America to launch their own mobile market by offering a key-in-hand mobile market vehicle, training, and expertise.
From California to New York and everywhere in between, The Farmers’ Truck is empowering positive change to improve food access for thousands of Americans.

Functional Formularies was created out of love, necessity, and hope for our founder’s
father who suffered a traumatic brain injury. After an extensive search to find a real,
whole foods feeding tube formula came up empty handed, our founder created one. Out
of this passionate journey fueled by love and perseverance, came Liquid Hope, the
world’s first shelf-stable organic, whole food feeding tube formula.
Since the introduction of Liquid Hope, patients around the country and across the world
have benefited from the nourishment of Liquid Hope. The company has built on this
success to offer a portfolio of products including our specially formulated pediatric
formula, Nourish, the first organic, whole food, plant-based Peptide formulas to support
maximum nourishment and enhanced digestion (Liquid Hope Peptide for adults and
Nourish Peptide for pediatrics), and Ketogenic feeding tube formulas.
At Functional Formularies we strongly believe that real, whole foods are imperative for
the body to achieve its greatest potential. We are committed to providing the highest
quality ingredients sourced from the cleanest growers. You can be sure that our
products will always be organic, always be real, whole foods and that we will never use
ingredients that can be harmful to the human body. It is our passion and goal to provide
the best nourishment humanly possible to help people thrive.

Learn More

Better Energy.
Balanced Blood Sugar.
Backed by Science.

Learn More 

Healthy Fresh Meals is a local meal prep and delivery service that was founded in 2016. Healthy Fresh, aims to provide the DMV with healthy meals that are conveniently delivered to your front door! Eating clean is not always easy, so we’ve made it simple enough to fit every individual’s needs. Whether you are looking to lose weight, live a clean and healthy lifestyle, or build lean muscle mass through a natural diet, our service has a line of meals to fit your lifestyle. All meals are prepared weekly from scratch using only fresh ingredients. Our meals are cooked, sealed, and delivered to you within 24 hours.

Learn More 

HueTrition®: We have the power to help your brand evolve and succeed at the intersection between Health, Sustainability, & Technology.

What is HueTrition®? We are a new age internet and digital services company utilizing technology to help brands increase their Omni-channel presence and help develop products that promote a healthier lifestyle. Our unique portfolio of highly-interactive digital properties allows our brands and sponsors to connect with targeted, in-market audiences across a range of demographic profiles, including health & wellness influencers, mom, K-12 educators, and food enthusiasts. We offer all-inclusive Digital Marketing Agency & Consulting Services for Brands from creating Omni-Channel experiences to Health & Wellness product development and innovation. We are a team of digital ninjas and food artists with over 250+ years of combined experience in Marketing Technology, Health & Wellness, Culinary Arts, Food Industry, K-12 Child Nutrition, and Better-For-You New Product Development, Sports & Fitness, with a common goal to enhance health and wellness through whole foods and an active lifestyle.

Learn More

Rewire Health is a women-founded software company that helps health organizations leverage culinary medicine. Ready to scale your business with culinary medicine? Schedule a call to learn more about how we can help.

 

Learn More

Series Supporter

Apostle Group is a consulting and staffing company that is committed to providing high-quality services and solutions to healthcare, food and nutrition clients in the private and public sectors. The company’s team is comprised of experienced and knowledgeable consultants and clinicians who bring a wealth of expertise and insights to every project they undertake. This enables Apostle Group to deliver innovative and effective solutions that meet the unique needs of its clients, while also improving patient outcomes, maximizing efficiency, and reducing costs. The company specializes in helping government agencies and private organizations through customized strategies that enhance patient outcomes, reduce costs, and improve overall healthcare delivery. This includes a range of services such as operations management, sustainability, strategic planning, program design, health promotion and education, workforce development, compliance, and quality improvement. Our commitment to excellence, integrity, and professionalism has made it a trusted partner for government clients seeking to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare services for their constituents. Apostle Group is a trusted partner for government clients seeking to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare services for their constituents.

Learn More 

KEEN Growth Capital identifies food, beverage and wellness companies with great potential started by revolutionary-thinking, passionate entrepreneurs. We apply our trusted skill and passion to develop them into highly successful and respected companies.

Infusion of intellectual and financial capital delivers positive outcomes for stakeholders – and ultimately the consumer. Our investors benefit from outstanding returns and society is enriched by healthier products.

Learn More

Sifter SP, Inc. technology makes delivery of healthy eating programs easy by matching evidence-based dietary guidance to products that match personalized needs. Sifter’s Nutrition as a Service™ includes an API toolbox that allows retailers, CPGs and health/fitness/recipe providers to offer their customers a product discovery experience that delivers on the growing food as medicine trend.

Learn More

Sylvan Health makes affordable, personalized nutrition counseling accessible by providing dietitians, healthcare providers, and patients with the tools needed to improve clinical outcomes and lower costs. In a world where nearly 80% of healthcare costs are driven by chronic disease and most of these costs are directly related to nutrition, there has never been a bigger need to integrate nutrition into the healthcare ecosystem.

Learn More

As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain.

FMI brings together a wide range of members across the value chain — from retailers who sell to consumers, to producers who supply the food, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services — to amplify the collective work of the industry.

We provide members, from independent operators to the largest national and international players, a unique forum for actively coming together to engage in dialogue, collaboration and problem-solving as a community. We work together closely to understand the topics that matter most to our members and where FMI can provide the greatest value to them.

Our advocacy yields a powerful voice around public policy and serves as a beacon for elevating the food industry’s stature and relevance. Our extensive research, insights and knowledge resources provide an instrumental educational platform for helping prepare and propel our members and their employees forward.

FMI is a champion for the food industry and the issues that make a difference to our members’ fundamental mission of feeding and enriching society. The reach and impact of our work is extensive, ultimately touching the lives of over 100 million households in the United States and representing an $800 billion industry with nearly 6 million employees.

FMI is not an acronym and is correctly referenced as FMI, The Food Industry Association, upon first reference. FMI is our organization’s formal name.

Learn More