Increasing Access to Healthier Foods in a Private Hospital Using a Multi-Pronged Synergistic Approach in Los Angeles County: A Case Study

Panel Discussion

Tony Kuo leads panel discussion on increasing access to healthier foods in a hospital setting

Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS

Director, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Brenda Robles, MPH

Evaluation Lead, Nutrition and Health Programs, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Xochitl Valdivia, MS

Health Program Analyst I, Champions for Change: Healthy Communities Initiative LA County Dept. of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA

Gina Cipriani, MS

Employee Wellness Coordinator, Adventist Health White Memorial

Ranjana N. Wickramasekaran, MPH

Epidemiologist, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA


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Adventist Health White Memorial Medical Center (WMMC) is a private non-profit hospital serving low-income Los Angeles County residents. In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (DCDIP), WMMC has sought to improve employee and visitor dietary behaviors by leveraging multiple DCDIP funded efforts, including those from the United States Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strategies have included: employee nutrition education, access to farmers’ markets, healthy vending, food demonstrations, healthy food procurement strategies and behavioral economic approaches. Evaluation activities (e.g., impact/outcome/intercept surveys, food purchasing and recipe analyses) are continually integrated into program efforts for quality improvement/assurance purposes and to make the business case for healthy nutrition strategies. This panel describes the evolution of the partnership between WMMC and DCDIP, current progress to date, and future opportunities to enhance implementation and evaluation using this multi-pronged synergistic approach.


Presenter Bio(s):

Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS directs the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He also serves as the Director of the Office of Senior Health for the County of Los Angeles. Dr. Kuo has 15 years of clinical practice experience in continuity, urgent/emergency and homeless care. His professional interests span the continuum of medicine and public health. They include undergraduate and graduate medical education; nutrition and physical activity promotion; diabetes prevention; patient-centered care; and social programs that affect health. Dr. Kuo received his Medical Degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine and his Master’s in Health Services from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health. He is boarded in Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has joint appointments in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.