Megan McCaul, M.D., a third-year surgery resident at USA Health, recently presented an abstract at the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) Conference in Montreal, Canada.
“We will develop, discover, and teach healthcare
professionals, patients, and community members how to make
evidence-based lifestyle changes to live longer, better lives.”
USA Health is committed to the overall health and well-being of the Gulf Coast. In addition to offering the finest in disease care through the broad range of hospital and outpatient settings, we recognize the large impact lifestyle choices play in health and disease. Small lifestyle changes can have big impacts on most of the major causes of illness and death in our community. Our Integrative Medicine approach helps impact those changes through research, teaching and delivery of this information to the community at large.
USA Health's culinary kitchen is one arm of that commitment and recognizes the evidence that food is medicine. Diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, dementia, and several common cancers are all positively impacted by diet and other lifestyle choices. There is ample corroboration of multiple studies to prove that food can be a positive factor in health, but it is also apparent that no one wants to eat something that doesn’t taste good. Culinary medicine strives to join the science of nutrition with the art of food preparation to make those dishes that are good for us, unapologetically delicious, and crave-worthy.
The Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, a premiere institution, in the early 2000s partnered with the Culinary Institute of America, also a premiere institution, to begin a collaborative effort to find the most delicious and nutritious foods and teach healthcare providers and chefs how to produce those foods and make them affordable and easy to prepare. Several USA Health team members have attended joint conferences entitled Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives over the years and brought back the knowledge to our area. Beginning in 2015, pioneering classes were held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Bishop State. Now, USA Health has its own teaching kitchens at University Commons in Mobile and the Mapp Family Campus in Fairhope. A third kitchen will be incorporated into the new medical school building on USA's campus. The purpose of the kitchens is to train providers to cook, eat, and teach good nutrition and to join with the community to spread the knowledge.