Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., a national expert on how healthy eating fits within healthcare, spoke on “food as medicine” at UAMS’ 25th Annual Family Medicine Update with Free Tobacco & Disease Symposium Oct. 26 – 29. The cardiologist and dean at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy said Americans have grown so sick in the past 30 years that half the adult population is pre-diabetic or diabetic. The UAMS Department of Family and Preventive Medicine’s Community Health and Education Division hosted the conference with more than 200 healthcare providers viewing.
Mozaffarian said medically tailored meals for those chronically ill or food insecure patients would reduce hospitalizations, ER visits and nursing home admissions. He also encouraged providers to prescribe produce and suggested that medical accreditation standards should include nutrition education.
Another highlight was colorectal cancer screening with Keith Winfrey, M.D., MPH, chief medical officer with the New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center. He explained how colorectal cancer screenings jumped from three percent to 80 percent in his clinic with evidence-based interventions such as using patient navigators and documenting and tracking screenings in the EHR. The key is to implement with the healthcare system rather than individual providers.
Team members who planned the event include Alysia Dubriske, M.Ed., Marybeth Curtis, RN, BSN, Colleen Lassiter and Andrea Hooten, MBA, along with Leesa Freasier, M.Ed. and Matt Mitchell, B.S.
Other presenters included these UAMS clinicians and faculty:
Sarah Ashby, Pharm.D., MPH — opioids and drug abuse
Pilar Murphy, Pharm.D., MPH – cardiovascular and diabetic trials
Mitesh Lotia, M.D. – Huntington’s Disease
Ellen Rail-Wilkerson, PD, and Peggy Healy, LCSW – confronting stigma
Jason Muesse, M.D. — integrating tobacco cessation into practice and lung cancer screening
Manish Joshi, M.D. – COPD and acute lung issues
Anand Venkata, M.D. – tobacco and vaping in Arkansas
Misty Virmani, M.D. – nicotine in pregnancy and breastfeeding