Food as Medicine

Speakers

Featured Speakers

Hear from the nation’s foremost organizations on Food as Medicine programs

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Jaclyn Lewis Albin, MD

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Samantha Citro Alexander

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Denise Algire

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Laura Allred

Laura Allred

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Maggie Biscarr

Maggie Biscarr

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Scott Bowman

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Kofi D. Essel

Kofi D. Essel, MD, MPH, FAAP

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Gary Foster, PhD

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Holly Freishtat

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Sven Gierlinger

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Gina Plata-Nino, JD

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Dan Glickman

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Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Commission on Political Reform, Democracy Project, Prevention Initiative, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Task Force Bipartisan Policy Center; Former Secretary of Agriculture, USDA

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Shawn F. Gremminger

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Rick Leach, JD

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Alison LeBlanc, MS, PMP

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Catherine Macpherson

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Suja Mathew, MD, FACP

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Nicole Matrey

Nicole Matrey

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Jim McGovern (D-MA)

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Dariush Mozaffarian, MD

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Jean Mayer Professor and
Director, Food is Medicine Institute
Tufts University

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Anand Parekh, MD

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Mehreen Rashid

Mehreen Rashid

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Pamela Schwartz

Pamela Schwartz, MPH

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Judy Seybold

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Rakshit Sharma, MD, MBA

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Dexter Shurney, MD

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Sean Slovenski

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Bruno Tison

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Martin Tull

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Senior Deputy Director, Strategy, Innovation and Development
American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM)

Jaclyn Lewis Albin, MD

Medical Director, Food is Medicine Innovation, Center for Innovation and Value Parkland Health; Founding Director, Culinary Medicine Program, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Jaclyn Lewis Albin, MD, CCMS, DipABLM is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and founding Director of the Culinary Medicine program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Albin is board certified in lifestyle medicine and is a certified culinary medicine specialist (CCMS). She teaches nutrition through hands-on cooking classes to students, health care professionals, and the community. She developed the first Culinary Medicine (CM) Clinical Service Line in the United States, integrating a variety of interprofessional CM consults into patient care. She also serves as the founding Associate Program Director for the combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program and remains dedicated to educational innovation in a variety of domains.

Dr. Albin serves as the inaugural Medical Director of Food is Medicine Innovation in the Center for Innovation at Value at Parkland Health. Through partnership with innovation and data science experts, she builds creative collaboratives with community organizations to advance sustainable strategies promoting food security and health equity.

Dr. Albin serves on the national American College of Culinary Medicine Advisory Board, is an Organization Member of the international Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, and studies the impact of culinary medicine in medical education, community settings, and patient care. Dr. Albin is a sought-after speaker, media source, and scientific voice in Culinary Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, and food is medicine spaces. She is passionate about disruptive innovation within healthcare to promote multisector collaboration and drive positive change at a population health level. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, garden, and cook delicious, nourishing food that her adolescent children will actually eat!

Samantha Citro Alexander

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, bitewell

Samantha Citro Alexander is the CEO & Co-Founder of bitewell – the nutrition intelligence company on a mission to improve the world’s health through food. As the Chief Executive Officer of bitewell, Sam is pioneering food as a healthcare benefit.

Denise Algire

MBA, RN, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN

Director of Health

Albertsons Companies

Denise Algire is the Director of Health for Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the U.S. Ms. Algire is a nationally recognized expert in healthcare including population health and value-based care models. She leads Albertsons Companies Food is Medicine programs focused on Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), nutrition and wellbeing strategies nationally

Laura Allred

Director
Alliance Partnerships
Uber Health

Laura leads Payer and Alliance Partnerships at Uber Health. She joins Uber from LetsGetChecked, a diagnostics platform, where she served as the Director of Business Development. Laura helped commercialize new delivery models for diagnostic testing and partnered with health insurance companies to design their population screening protocols, and leverage data for personalized patient experiences. Laura’s focus on being patient first was sparked by her time spent at Athenahealth and her early career years as in practice management at a large primary care clinic.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Health from Emory University and lives in New York, NY with her husband.

Maggie Biscarr

Food as Medicine Expert and Advisor
The NOURISH Movement and Clareo

Maggie is part of The Nourish Movement core team and a strategist and subject matter expert with Clareo’s Food Practice Area, focusing on food as medicine and cross-sector, multi-stakeholder partnering, bringing deep insights, experience and a network spanning consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail innovation, nonprofit and social innovation, nutrition incentive programs and the aging space. 

She brings decades of experience focused on developing and executing market-based programs and partnerships to solve entrenched issues in the food, retail, health and adjacent sectors.  She directed a global partnership strategy for PepsiCo, working across corporate and commercial business units to develop proactive, shared value partnerships (with retail customers, industry groups, and the public sector) connecting PepsiCo’s commercial, regulatory, and health & sustainability agendas.  Prior to PepsiCo, she led the development of AARP Foundation’s SNAP and food as medicine portfolios, including Fruit and Vegetable incentive and food Rx programs; and developed and ran Fresh Savings, an innovative public-private partnership with UnitedHealthcare, Kroger, farmers markets, and USDA that provided monetary incentives for SNAP consumers to incentivize the purchase and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Maggie is also a board member for HERO, advancing health, performance, and well-being through employer leadership, and serves as secretary on the executive committee of DC Central Kitchen. Maggie received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mercer University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Georgia.  She lives and operates out of Washington, D.C.

Scott Bowman

Co-Founder and Co-Chair, The NOURISH Movement;
Managing Director and Board Member, Clareo;
Co-Founder, The World Innovation Network (TWIN)

Scott is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Nourish Movement (NOURISH)– a multi-stakeholder innovation platform that is driving cross-sector collaboration and partnering (food+health+tech), centered around the purpose of connecting innovators and their innovations to empower human health through food sustainably.  Founding anchor partners for Nourish include Griffith Foods, Mars, Mayo Clinic, Geisinger (Kaiser), Compass Group, Roots Food Group, Devenish and Novo Nordisk. Today, NOURISH organizes the “DoTank” of leaders, finds great challenges worth working on and brings together leaders with motivation and commitment to solve them, through exchanges/matchmaking, challenge sessions and sprints.

Scott also leads the food practice at Clareo – a group of business designers accelerating the future of food for health. Clareo works at the nexus of nutrition, health & wellness and food as medicine, and brings a radically different approach: specialization and deep expertise, a core team and organized expert network (the Collective) operating experience up/down the food value chain, outside-in approaches that leverage break conventional thinking, accelerate speed to market and partnering, and a proven track record of accelerating outcomes. 

He and his team are working actively on the innovation challenges driving the future of food as medicine: accelerating retail transformation, getting into the ‘flow’ of massive public and private sector funding, driving creating partnering across food+health (retail, CPG, healthcare, NGO), scaling next-gen novel ingredients, accelerating next-gen product innovation and category expansion for global food players, driving cross-sector partnerships focused on GLP-1s (FAM providers, digital health providers, benefit consultants, and employers), and is creating new B2B data licensing model to help power up and measure healthy food sales at retail.  These are only examples of areas he and his team are actively working with leading global firms.

Scott is also active speaker on innovation and food as medicine.  He has been a featured speaker, panelist and roundtable leader at Future Food Tech, the Food as Medicine SummitManna Tree’s Global Health ForumHealthy People Healthy Planet at Yale, and his thinking has been featured in Food Navigator, FoodDive, Chief Executive Magazine and more.  He has been also a guest lecturer in the Executive Education Program at the Mendoza School of Management (Notre Dame) and a featured speaker on innovation for Kraft, Coca Cola, Whirlpool, The National Critical Issues Forum for Healthcare, The National Security Agency, and others.

Scott holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.  He operates out of Clareo’s offices in Chicago, IL, but he and his wife, Dianne, enjoy a full life together with their three lovely girls in Michigan.

Kofi D. Essel, MD

MPH, FAAP

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) and Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University(GWU) School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Most recently serving as the Director of the GWU 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.

Dr. Gary Foster, Ph.D

Chief Scientific Officer, WW

Founder, Center for Obesity Research and Education,

Temple University

Gary Foster, Ph.D., is the Chief Scientific Officer at WeightWatchers (WW). Foster, a psychologist, obesity researcher and behavior change expert, was previously the Founder and Director of the Center of Obesity Research and Education and Laura Carnell Professor of Medicine, Public Health and Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Prior to Temple, he served as the Clinical Director of the Weight and Eating Disorders Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He has authored more than 225 scientific publications and four books on the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity. His most recent book, The Shift, is a national bestseller. Foster has received numerous honors including President of The Obesity Society, Honorary Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service from The Obesity Society, and the George Bray Outstanding Scientific Achievements Award in Obesity Research from the American Society for Nutrition.

Holly Freishtat

Senior Director, Feeding Change, Milken Institute

Ms. Freishtat has recently joined the Milken Institute as the Director of Feeding Change. 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.

Sven Gierlinger

Senior Vice President and Chief Patient Experience Officer

Northwell Health

As senior vice president and the Chief Experience Officer for Northwell Health, Sven Gierlinger is an influential and international thought leader. His visionary approach disrupts the status quo and has built an engaging, innovative, and collaborative culture, that drives organizational growth and patient loyalty through the patient experience. 

Mr. Gierlinger came to Northwell Health from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI, where he served as vice president of Hospitality and Service Culture, responsible for creating a superior and consistent service experience for patients, visitors and employees. Mr. Gierlinger worked closely with leadership to drive culture change around improving the customer experience in every encounter across the system. 

Prior to that, Mr. Gierlinger began his career as a luxury hotel executive, holding a series of leadership positions with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He played a key role in the openings of several Ritz-Carlton hotels in Germany, Japan, Indonesia and the United States. 

Becker’s Hospital Review has named Sven Gierlinger on the list of 50-plus Hospital and Healthcare System Chief Experience Officers (CXO) to know in 2023.  Additionally, Mr. Gierlinger is an Executive Board member at The Beryl Institute and a Founding Council member of the Institute of Innovation. 

He received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business administration from the Bavaria Hotel Management Academy, Altoetting, Germany.

Gina Plata-Nino, JD

Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition and Agriculture, Domestic Policy Council
The White House

Gina is the Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition and Agriculture for the Domestic Policy Council in the White House.  Previously, she was the Deputy Director for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), a national anti-hunger organization where she provided technical assistance, analysis, training, strategic advice, and other hands-on support to national, state and community-based organizations. Before joining FRAC she worked as an attorney with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the Central West Justice Center. Gina began her career by clerking at the Massachusetts State Appeals Court and by working as Legal Consultant in Southeast Asia.  She has a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. 

Dan Glickman

Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Commission on Political Reform, Democracy Project, Prevention Initiative, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Task Force Bipartisan Policy Center; Former Secretary of Agriculture, USDA

Dan Glickman is a BPC senior fellow and co-chairs its Commission on Political Reform, Democracy Project, Prevention Initiative, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Task Force. He served as the secretary of agriculture from March 1995 until January 2001. Under his leadership, the Department of Agriculture administered farm and conservation programs, modernized food-safety regulations, forged international trade agreements to expand U.S. markets, and improved its commitment to fairness and equality in civil rights.

Glickman is currently the executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, a nongovernmental, nonpartisan educational program for members of the United States Congress. Previously, he was chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), which serves as the voice and advocate of the U.S. motion picture, home video, and television industries. Prior to joining the MPAA, Glickman was the director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also served as a partner and senior advisor to the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C.

Prior to becoming the secretary of agriculture, Glickman represented the 4th Congressional District of Kansas for 18 years in the House of Representatives. During that time, he was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, including six years as chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal farm policy issues. He was also an active member of the House Judiciary Committee, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and was a leading congressional expert on general aviation policy.

Shawn F. Gremminger

President and Chief Executive Officer

National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

Known for his wide-ranging policy expertise, and government relations experience, Shawn Gremminger brings to the National Alliance a successful record of working with coalitions, employers and other healthcare purchasers, policymakers, and industry stakeholders toward the mission of achieving high-quality, affordable, equitable healthcare.

Shawn was most recently senior vice president at Reservoir Communications Group where he led communications and public affairs strategy and execution on a range of relevant issues, including 340B and the drug supply chain, employer-sponsored insurance regulations, and Medicare payment. He has a strong history of healthcare advocacy and public affairs with employers, plans, hospitals, and consumer organizations. Shawn was previously director of health policy for the Purchaser Business Group on Health, a member of the National Alliance, where he ran efforts to improve quality and affordability for consumers and healthcare purchasers through federal policy. He has held senior leadership roles at Families USA, and America’s Essential Hospitals. Shawn began his career as a lobbyist for the Children’s Hospital Association. He achieved a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University in Washington and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.

Rick Leach, JD

Expert in Food Security and Public Health

Founder and former CEO, World Food Program, USA

Chairman of the Food as Medicine Board at Avesis, LLC

Rick Leach is leading initiatives to address food security, public health, and nutrition challenges on global and national levels. Rick is Chairman, Food as Medicine Advisory Board, Avesis LLC. He is leading a consortium of academic institutions to establish centers to address public health crises and with experts in the medical community to develop public policy to further scientific research and discovery. Rick recently served as President and CEO of World Food Program, USA, an organization he established in 1997 to shape U.S. public policy and generate resources for the United Nations World Food Programme. He has held leadership roles in both national and international organizations, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Alliance for Representative Democracy and World Wildlife Fund. Rick served on the foreign policy staff for the US House of Representatives Select Committee on Hunger and worked in the Clinton administration to lead a Presidential initiative to increase childhood immunization rates.                                                       
Rick Leach is an attorney who began his career practicing corporate and maritime law. He has served on Boards for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, Winrock International, American Lung Association, and George Washington University’s Planet Forward.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Alison LeBlanc, MS, PMP

Executive Director, Child Health Equity Center, UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and UMass Chan Medical School; Senior Director, ACO Health Equity Programming UMass Memorial Health

Alison LeBlanc, MS, PMP, is an experienced development strategist and health equity advocate with over a decade of experience designing and implementing initiatives to address adverse social determinants of health, including food insecurity. She is the Executive Director of the Child Health Equity Center at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center and UMass Chan Medical School and Senior Director of ACO Health Equity Programming for the UMass Memorial Health Medicaid Accountable Care Organization where she oversees all housing and nutrition initiatives.

Catherine Macpherson

Chief Nutrition Officer for Mom’s Meals, PurFoods LLC

Catherine Macpherson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and leader in healthcare innovation.  She is the Senior Vice President of Healthcare Strategy and Chief Nutrition Officer for Mom’s Meals (PurFoods LLC), where she works closely with health plan and other healthcare partners on their home-delivered meals program design to meet clinical, quality, SDOH, member experience and cost savings objectives.  She also leads strategic partnerships, product strategy, policy and advocacy work for the organization.  Catherine served as Vice President of Medication Adherence and Immunizations at Walgreens, led Healthcare Product Strategy at WebMD and managed health and wellness programs for Ceridian, the National Institutes of Health and the American Institute for Cancer Research.  Serving on numerous scientific advisory boards, Catherine has advised health and wellness companies including Retrofit, Livongo and eMindful.  She earned her Master of Science degree in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and her BA from the University of Michigan.

Anand Parekh, MD

Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Atlantic Health System

Suja Mathew, MD is Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Atlantic Health System. In her role, Dr. Mathew oversees the quality, research, education and health equity missions of the Atlantic Health organization. With many years of experience in clinical leadership, Dr. Mathew works collaboratively to deliver innovative and high-quality care for patients across the state.

Working directly with Atlantic Health System’s chief medical officers and quality, research and academic teams, Dr. Mathew helps strengthen the bonds that connect Atlantic Health System’s entire network of care, empowering every patient to benefit from its system-wide resources. In her unique role as Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Mathew is primarily focused on three key areas: optimizing patient access to the full Atlantic Health System network of care, elevating the system’s innovative research and academic programs, and continuing the system’s commitment to the highest quality care.

Under her leadership at Atlantic Health, the system has earned numerous, national recognitions for quality care. Most recently Atlantic Health was honored with a 2023 Citation of Merit from the American Hospital Association as part of its prestigious Quest for Quality prize.
Dr. Mathew is a leader and sought-after speaker on policy matters involving physicians thanks to several roles she plays with national organizations. She serves on the Board of Regents for the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest specialty-based physician society in the country and is immediate past governor for the Illinois Northern chapter. She is a delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) and an elected member of the AMA’s Council on Medical Education and chair of the Continuing Medical Education committee. Additionally, Dr. Mathew works with the AMA as a Senior Practice Advisor and assists leaders in their efforts to improve professional satisfaction among their clinicians.

Before joining Atlantic Health System in March 2022, Dr. Mathew served in the Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago, Illinois for 22 years, most recently as the System Chair of Medicine. She oversaw integrated inpatient and ambulatory internal medicine, dermatology and neurology services across the entire system. Dr. Mathew distinguished herself as a medical educator when she served as program director at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, leading one of the nation’s largest internal medicine training programs and in progressive educational leadership roles at Rush Medical College.

Dr. Mathew earned her medical degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine at The University of Chicago and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honors society. She completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Dr. Mathew is passionate for health equity and addressing the needs of marginalized communities. She is an advocate for ensuring that all Americans have access to reliable sources of nutritious food and serves as co-chair of Doctors for a Hunger Free America since 2019. Dr. Mathew is also committed to mentoring the next generation of healthcare leaders through her co-founding of the South Asian Women’s Healthcare Collaborative, a group that aims to mentor and sponsor women of South Asian heritage who aspire to the highest leadership roles in U.S. healthcare. She is an awarded teacher, mentor, and humanitarian.

Nicole Matrey

Senior Health Services Specialist,
Geisinger Steele Institute for Innovation,
Geisinger

Nicole Matrey is a Senior Health Services Specialist with the Geisinger Steele Institute for Innovation. Nicole currently leads Geisinger’s Food is Health strategy, designed as a community driven, sustainable, and impactful solution to address food insecurity and access. Additionally, Nicole has created partnerships with local community organizations to pilot innovative models that serve rural communities in Geisinger’s service area.

Nicole’s passion for the social needs space started shortly after receiving her B.A. from Bloomsburg University. Entering the workforce as a child welfare caseworker, Nicole worked to identify and connect families to social services. During this time, she learned how difficult it could be for families to navigate the system. Nicole spent close to 10 years working for child protective services, which further developed her desire to break down barriers for those in need.

Nicole joined Geisinger in 2019 and specialized in donor engagement where she was introduced to Geisinger’s Fresh Food Farmacy- an initiative created through philanthropic support. She quickly realized that these innovative programs were solutions to the problems she identified earlier in her career. Nicole transitioned to support Geisinger’s food strategy in 2022 and has had the opportunity to bring her field experience and background to identify and build meaningful solutions.

Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Congressman

2nd District of Massachusetts

Congressman Jim McGovern represents the Second District of Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives. He is a champion for the people of his home state of Massachusetts, and a global leader working to end hunger, protect human rights, and promote peace. He believes public service should be about bringing us together and working to make life better for all our families.

Jim has been the top Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee since 2018, serving as Chairman during the 116th and 117th Congress. Jim has worked hard on the Rules Committee to change business as usual on Capitol Hill and make Congress work in a more open, transparent, bipartisan way. For example, he put in place rules to give all Members of Congress more time to read bills. He required that bills to go through the committee process instead of just being written behind closed doors, and he created a new office to recruit and retain congressional staff that reflect the diversity of the American people.

On the House Agriculture Committee, Jim has been a global leader in the fight to end hunger. He fought for and successfully secured a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to make ending hunger a national priority. Thanks to Jim’s advocacy and tireless work, military families are being screened for hunger for the first time ever, families with children get enhanced food benefits, schools are able to provide more nutritious meals, and America now has a plan to end hunger within the decade.

Jim has spent his career in public service working to strengthen America’s global leadership when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting peace. He serves on two commissions which monitor, investigate and advocate on behalf of international human rights, the rule of law, and good governance: the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. He has written and successfully passed into law several bills which help America identify and hold accountable corrupt foreign officials and human rights abusers. He has also authored and passed into law several pieces of legislation to hold the government of China accountable for human rights violations, including the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, the Tibet Policy and Support Act, and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

Jim’s concern for human rights goes back to his time as a Congressional staffer, when he led an investigation into the murders of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador. Jim uncovered that the murders were committed by Salvadoran soldiers who had been trained by the United States Government–leading to a major shift in public opinion and a change in U.S. policy that made future military aid contingent on improved human rights in El Salvador.

Jim worked his way through college, earning a BA in history and then spending over a decade working in the office of Congressman Joe Moakley, a Democrat from South Boston. His time working for Moakley taught him that you have to stand up for what you believe in and work hard to give back to your community. After Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 1995, Jim saw that Washington was working harder than ever for the rich and powerful while everyday people fell further and further behind. He successfully ran for Congress in 1996, and has won reelection every two years since then.

Jim takes principled stands on tough issues and works with Members of Congress from across the aisle and throughout the country to ensure that every single person in America and around the world is treated with dignity, decency, fairness, and respect.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, MD

Jean Mayer Professor and

Director, Food is Medicine Institute

Tufts University

Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Jean Mayer Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Professor of Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine, and an attending physician at Tufts Medical Center. His work aims to create the science and translation for a food system that is nutritious, equitable, and sustainable. Dr. Mozaffarian has authored more than 500 scientific publications on dietary priorities for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and on evidence-based policy approaches and innovations to reduce diet-related diseases and improve health equity in the US and globally. Areas of focus include defining healthy diets, nutritional biomarkers, Food is Medicine interventions in healthcare, business innovation and entrepreneurship, and food policy. He is one of the top cited researchers in medicine globally, he has served in numerous advisory roles, and his work has been featured in an array of media outlets. Thomson Reuters has named him as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds In 2023, Dr. Mozaffarian was nominated by President Biden to serve on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN), a federal advisory committee that aims to promote healthy eating and physical activity for all Americans.

Dr. Mozaffarian received his B.S. in biological sciences from Stanford University, M.D. from Columbia University, and Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University; and additional clinical training in internal medicine at Stanford University and in cardiology at the University of Washington. He is married, has three children, and actively trains as a Fourth Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.

Anand Parekh, MD

Chief Medical Advisor

Bipartisan Policy Center

Dr. Anand Parekh is Chief Medical Advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) where he provides clinical and public health expertise across the organization. Since 2015, he has led specific efforts tackling a variety of policy issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, future of public health, opioid crisis, obesity epidemic & nutrition, health & housing, domestic and global HIV/AIDS, business & public health collaboration, emergency preparedness, social isolation, rural health, and prescription drug costs. His healthcare expertise has been recognized by the Washingtonian in its listing of Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People.

Prior to joining BPC, he completed a decade of service at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As an HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the Senior Executive Service from 2008 to 2015, he developed and implemented national initiatives focused on prevention, wellness, and care management. Specifically, he played instrumental roles in the implementation of the Recovery Act’s Prevention and Wellness Fund, the Affordable Care Act’s prevention initiatives, and HHS’ Multiple Chronic Conditions Initiative. He received the Surgeon General’s Outstanding Service Award for his efforts.

Briefly in 2007, he was delegated the authorities of the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health overseeing ten health program offices and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Earlier in his HHS career, he played key roles in public health emergency preparedness efforts related to pandemic influenza and bioterrorism as special assistant to the science advisor to the secretary.

Parekh is a board-certified internal medicine physician, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, an adjunct professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and an adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, where he previously completed his residency training in the Osler Medical Program of the Department of Medicine. He provided volunteer clinical services for many years at the Holy Cross Hospital Health Center, a clinic for the uninsured in Silver Spring, MD.

He currently serves on the Board of Population Health and Public Health Practice at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Dean’s Advisory Board of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Board of Directors of the Presidential Scholars Foundation, Board of Directors of WaterAid America, and the Founders Council at the United States of Care.

He has spoken widely and written extensively on a variety of health topics such as chronic care management, population health, value in health care, and the need for health and human services integration. His book Prevention First: Policymaking for a Healthier America was released in December 2019 and argues that prevention must be our nation’s top health policy priority. He is also a Forbes healthcare contributor focused on the coronavirus.

A native of Michigan, Parekh received a B.A. in political science, an M.D., and an M.P.H. in health management and policy from the University of Michigan. He was selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in 1994.

Mehreen Rashid

Deputy Director, State Demonstrations Group
Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Mehreen Rashid is currently the Deputy Director of the State Demonstrations Group (SDG) at the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services where she supports the agency’s work on Medicaid demonstrations authorized under section 1115 of the Social Security Act.  With a decade of federal experience on section 1115 demonstrations, including nearly a year as the Acting Director of SDG, she oversees the Group’s policy development and negotiations with states seeking demonstrations to advance their Medicaid program innovations.  She directs the group’s work across all phases of the lifecycle of section 1115 demonstration work.  Mehreen is an expert in Medicaid delivery system reform and payment reform, value-based care, health-related social needs, and maternal health. 

Before Mehreen came to CMS in 2014, she worked for five years in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in the Office of Budget as the lead analyst for budget and policy development for federal Medicaid spending and other related CMS programs.  During that time, she also supported senior leadership in the development and establishment of early Affordable Care Act programs.  Mehreen received her Master of Public Administration from George Washington University and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Pamela Schwartz

MPH

Executive Director Community

Kaiser Permanente

Pamela Schwartz, MPH, is Executive Director, 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. Pam and her team created the organization’s earliest outreach campaigns to help eligible members enroll in public-benefit programs. With deep experience designing, testing and scaling social health interventions and collaborating across sectors to inform and shape public policy, 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.  As 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.

Pam has over 25 years’ experience in community health strategy and evaluation. She serves on many advisory committees and expert panels and has authored several journal articles. She is currently on faculty at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine.

Pam has a master’s degree in public health and completed Kaiser Permanente’s Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School

Judy Seybold

MS, RDN, LD, CLC

Cofounder and Chief Nutrition Officer, Sifter

As Sifter co-founder and Chief Nutrition Officer, Judy Seybold leads the nutrition innovation, government affairs, and scientific disciplines behind Sifter’s Nutrition as a Service® digital technology for health and retail organizations. She brings regulatory rigor, clinical research expertise, and digital experience developing nutrition applications that deliver scalable Food as Medicine solutions. A retail nutrition pioneer, Judy has developed hundreds of metadata-driven applications and consumer shelf-edge programs that support medically tailored grocery interventions. While in R&D, Judy championed nutrition strategies that included approval of Vitamin D in cheese products, oat health claims, and AHA certifications. Over several decades, Judy has helped grow healthy brands for Fortune 100 companies (Quaker Oats and Kraft Foods); worked with numerous health start-ups (SPINS, ItemMaster, InteliChoice, Label Insight, healthyAisles); and managed several NIH-funded research studies while at Feinberg Northwestern Medical School. She has an MS in Food Science from the University of Illinois and is a Licensed Registered Dietitian and Certified Lifestyle Counselor. Judy represents Sifter on the Tufts FNII Food as Medicine and Nutrition Security working groups, which are creating solutions to support the White House Initiative on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Rakshit Sharma, MD, MBA

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Agilix Health

Rakshit Sharma, MD, MBA is the founder, CEO of Agilix Health, a virtual care company focused on translation and real-world implementation of proven clinical nutrition evidence in highly complex, nutritionally sensitive conditions. Combining longitudinal ‘personalized’ nutrition-led patient care with an early warning system, Agilix enhances treatment outcomes, care quality and enables systems to tackle unmet SDOH needs and ‘clinical nutrition’ gaps in a coordinated, evidence-based format. Prior to founding Agilix, Rakshit worked on developing novel, community-based translational oncology clinics for a major academic medical center to bridge the gap between academic medicine and community clinics using proven evidence, technology and novel care delivery models. 

 

Earlier, he was part of the strategy team at Biogen, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease and its early detection. Before Biogen, Rakshit was with the strategy team at Alere (now Abbott) and focused on improving population health outcomes by leveraging point-of-care diagnostics, technology, and connectivity to reduce inefficiencies in care management & delivery. Rakshit started his career as a public health consultant working on maternal & infant health. 

 

As a physician entrepreneur & systems thinker, Rakshit has spent most of his career identifying large unmet care needs & developing novel strategies to address those. Rakshit holds an MBA from Duke University and MD from L.T.M. Medical College, Mumbai, India.

Dr. Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH

President of the Blue Zones Well-Being Institute
Former President of American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Dr. Dexter Shurney is President of the Blue Zones Wellbeing Institute, a 501c3 subsidiary of Adventist Health, that focuses on applied population health research including social determinants, payment reform, in addition to helping advise health care executives on value-based strategy and operations.

Dr. Shurney’s unique business expertise comes from varied roles he has performed over his career as a senior healthcare executive. Most recently he served as the Chief Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer for Adventist Health, a multi-state hospital system that operates in CA, OR, WA, and HI.

Other former roles have included Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director of Global Employee Benefits at Cummins, Inc. CMI, Chief Medical Director, Employee Health Plan at Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer at Healthways HWAY, and Senior Advisor Managed Care Strategy at Amgen AMGN. During his tenure at Vanderbilt, he held dual faculty appointments at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the Owens Graduate School of Business.

He is the Vice-Chair of the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) board representing 100+ large employer group members, and is a Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). Under his leadership, ACLM launched a new provider education program for Blue Shield of California; led national conversations on provider payment reform and quality metrics; and spearheaded groundbreaking health disparity and equity efforts. He also serves as an independent director on several other boards including the Bon Secour Mercy Health Foundation, National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP), Population Health Alliance (PHA), and the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC).

Dr. Shurney is a highly regarded national authority on the health care industry with significant expertise in health insurance, employee health and well-being. He is also a well-regarded speaker at industry conferences and corporate events, and has appeared on NBC Today, in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, The Detroit Free Press, and numerous trade publications.

He is co-author of the book Integrating Wellness into Your Disease Management Programs a “how- to” strategic guide for employers that wish to innovate their approach to chronic condition management.

Dr. Shurney received his BS from Loma Linda University and his MD from Howard University College of Medicine. He also has an MBA and MPH from the University of Detroit/Mercy and the Medical College of Wisconsin, respectively. A licensed physician, he is board certified in both preventive medicine and in lifestyle medicine, and is a Fellow in the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

Sean Slovenski

Chief Executive Officer, Avesis

Whether as the CEO of a joint venture between Intel and GE, leading innovation at Humana, founding and selling his own company in behavioral health, serving as the President of Health & Wellness for
Walmart US, leading one of the premier at home diagnostics companies, BioIQ or currently as CEO of a premier specialty benefits company, Avesis, Sean has impacted almost every sector of healthcare over the past 30 years. He had the honor of being named Healthcare Leader of The Year by the US Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and in 2019 as the 7th most influential person in healthcare out of the top 100 by Modern Health Magazine.

Bruno Tison

Vice President, Food Services and Corporate Executive Chef

Northwell Health

Chef Bruno Tison is the Vice President of Food Services and Corporate Executive Chef within Northwell Health’s Office of Patient & Customer Experience. Committed to delivering a worldclass food experience for our patients, and building a healthy workplace for employees, Chef Tison is responsible for promoting consistency and elevating the quality of food and beverage throughout the expansive organization.

As a 30+ year hospitality industry veteran that includes Executive Chef of the legendary Plaza Hotel in New York City, Chef Tison’s nouvelle cuisine has earned extensive critical acclaim. Tison comes to Northwell from the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa in California – a Condé Nast “Top Ten” rated Spa & Resort. There he successfully led the team in receiving the celebrated Michelin Star recognition for three consecutive years.

Prior to joining the Plaza Hotel, Chef Tison trained with several of France’s legendary master chefs including, Bernard Waterlot, Roger Verge, Michel Guerard and Alain Chapel. Under their tutelage, Tison developed and refined his own unique style. He also worked in some of America’s most prestigious kitchens in New York City as well as San Francisco, such as Ernie’s Restaurant and Pierre at Le Meridien, Alain Chapel’s first venture in the United States.

A native of northern France, Chef Tison began his culinary education at Belgium’s prestigious Institut Technique Des Metiers De L’Alimentation, where he graduated with highest honors and was awarded first prize for excellence in culinary achievement. Chef Tison is also a member of the Société Culinaire Philantropique in New York City.

His immense passion for healthy, fresh foods along with an extensive breadth of experience drives Chef Tison to make an impactful difference within the ever changing healthcare environment.

Martin Tull

Senior Deputy Director, Strategy, Innovation and Development

American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM)

Martin is a strategist & systems thinker advising organizations and communities on collaborative solutions to complex problems.

Focusing on the vital intersection between impact strategies, business objectives, and market forces, Martin advises partners on how to imagine, fund, pilot, and scale innovative impact projects & campaigns. He currently serves as Senior Deputy Director of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and as a senior advisor for health, social impact & environmental initiatives.

Previously, Martin served in many senior leadership positions in the field of environmental sustainability & the outdoor recreation industry, including serving as the Founding Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance, leading the organization from a handful of founding teams into an international coalition of hundreds of professional & collegiate sports teams integrating sustainable practices throughout the sports industry today.

Martin has designed & facilitated workshops worldwide & been an invited speaker at numerous events including The White House Sports & Sustainability Summit, Sustainable Brands, Food as Medicine Summit, GoGreen New York, Beyond Sport Summit, Oregon Sport & Sustainability Summit, Sustainable Opportunities Summit, Green Sports Alliance Summit, AASHE, Collegiate Athletics Facilities Summit, PlantStock, Reducetarian Summit, Regional Innovation Forum, Sport Positive Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Global Impact Institute.

 Public recognition & awards include Good Magazine’s 100, Pivotal Leader, Portland Business Journal 40 under 40 Award, Better Bricks Emerging Leader Award, & Sustainable Business Oregon’s 15 People to Watch.