Jeffrey Gander, MD, and his colleagues from the Department of Pediatrics, Amy Wrentmore, MD, and pediatric dietician Tegan Medico, MS, MPH, RDN, CNSC, won the 2023 UVA Collaborative Excellence in Public Service Award. The award recognizes the work they are doing to combat food insecurity in their pediatrics patients and families. Dr. Gander originally noticed a lot of his patients were suffering from diet-related diseases at a young age. With his team, they set-up a collaboration in the Fall of 2020 with a not-for-profit called Local Food Hub where families with food insecurity received a biweekly share of fresh fruits and vegetables. Through fund raising efforts, they were able to initially support 60 families. The team recently received a $500,000 grant from the USDA to study the effectiveness of the program and enroll more families. Additionally, the team established a healthy food pantry in 2021 at the Pediatrics Battle Building Clinic where any family with food insecurity can receive non-perishable food items. The pantry regularly has 50 visits per month.
For more on this award and the other winners, see the UVA Today story.