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Children’s Hospital part of group working to combat childhood obesity
June 9, 2014

Christus Santa Rosa Health System's Patrick Carrier says San Antonio is "ground zero" for new efforts to improve the nutritional health of children. (Photo by Lyndsey Johnson / San Antonio Business Journal)

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

Christus Santa Rosa Health System's Children's Hospital of San Antonio is teaming up with the Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio (CIA), Goldsbury Foundation and H-E-B to pursue a new approach to improving nutritional health and reducing childhood obesity in the region.

Together, the partnership is launching the Culinary Health and Education Program. Children's Hospital of San Antonio officials say the group is taking a holistic approach to child wellness with the roll out of the multifaceted program.

The program will feature a number of unique elements, including a Children's Hospital Teaching Kitchen designed by the CIA, which will offer nutrition and hands-on cooking courses created by the institute in conjunction with clinical experts at the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. The courses will be offered to patients and open to the general public.

The children's hospital will also work with H-E-B to introduce "Prescriptions for Produce." As part of the program, physicians at the pediatric facility will have an opportunity to write prescriptions for patients who can redeem them at H-E-B stores for produce,

"San Antonio is ground zero for this kind of innovative program," says Christus Santa Rosa Health System President and CEO Pat Carrier. "Our team is committed to providing the children and families of this community with the resources, tools, and education they need to live healthier lives while tackling childhood obesity rates."

In April 2013, the Children's Hospital of San Antonio announced that it had received a $20 million grant from Goldsbury Foundation. A quarter of that gift was allocated for the development and implementation of innovative, community-focused and collaborative health and wellness initiatives. As a result, $5 million from the grant is being allocated for the new Culinary Health and Education Program.

"With the creation of this revolutionary new program, the Children's Hospital of San Antonio will be able to provide important nutritional information, engaging food preparation classes, and intensive clinical interventions that, when combined, offer an innovative and uniquely comprehensive approach to preventing and treating childhood obesity," says Dr. Mark Gilger, pediatrician-in-Chief for the Children's Hospital of San Antonio.

"H-E-B is excited to be a part of this project that will ultimately impact the future health of not just children, but entire families throughout San Antonio and all of South Central Texas," says Kate Rogers, vice president for community engagement at H-E-B. "It is a natural alliance for the major children's health care provider and H-E-B to work together to research and present the most effective programs to improve culinary health ... ."


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