Leadership and Faculty
Director of Culinary Medicine
As FoodShare’s Director of Culinary Medicine, Michelle enjoys creatively blending the role of academic research, clinical medicine, culinary arts and community empowerment all around a kitchen table full of delicious food. She works to create a space for community members, health providers, and academics to collaboratively experience the tangibility of the Hippocrates quote: “Let food be thy medicine”.
Since launching the curriculum in 2018, Michelle has taught over 3,000 hours of cooking classes and facilitated over 350 hours of patient engagement for medical learners. In addition to leading Culinary Medicine courses for medical learners and community members alike, Michelle has served as a food access advocate on the Columbia Food Policy Equity Subcommittee and oversees all evaluation efforts for FoodShare South Carolina.
Beverly Wilson, MPH
Co-Founder and Executive Director of FoodShare
Beverly Wilson, FoodShare’s Chief Inspiration Officer, is passionate about the need to solve issues around food access and affordability for disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. After organizing bulk buying produce groups within the community for many years, she turned her efforts towards developing a program that would expand fresh food access and affordability among communities that lacked access to quality food sources.
Beverly has been with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine for 15 years where she’s been able to identify a unique opportunity to integrate lifestyle medicine into a clinic model. She will be responsible for leading the school’s new culinary medicine initiative.
Programming is run by the nonprofit entity, FoodShare South Carolina, housed by the University Of South Carolina Of Medicine and closely affiliated with Prisma Health. Utilizing the state’s SNAP incentive program, Healthy Bucks, families can purchase boxes for $5.00 and received $30 worth of fresh produce. Foodshare is currently available in seven counties and will expand to all 36 counties in South Carolina within 5 years.
Fourth-Year Medical Students
The Culinary Medicine elective at University of South Carolina School of Medicine– Columbia is available to both third-year and fourth-year medical students.
Third-year medical students are required to complete a Health meets Food module and attend a community culinary medicine class as part of their Family Medicine Rotation.
Fourth-year medical students can take the course as part of month-long rotation. They complete modules 1 through 8 of the Health meets Food courseware as well as the Diabetes in Pregnancy, Systematic Approaches to Obesity and Pharmaceutical Treatment of Obesity modules.
The elective’s culminating experience gives students the unique opportunity to practice their culinary medicine knowledge with communities’ members. For the last class, the students come up with a topic that has not been covered to create a plant-based presentation. They have six minutes with each patient and then patients fill out patient satisfaction survey.
They then transition into the kitchen for a culinary where students partner alongside community member to cook a tasty, healthy meal from the contents of a FoodShare Box and pantry staples. Medical students are responsible for writing down everything going into a dish and they have to come up with a nutrition label that goes alongside the dish they present to the judges.
The course directors also provide a lecture series to the Internal Medicine residents and are hopeful are offering nutrition modules to them as well. Prior to COVID, residents were participated alongside the community programming. Many ended up cooking with the patient that they had referred to the courses.
No programming at this time.
Physician Assistant Programming
The course directors created a lecture on social determinants of health and implicit bias. Physician Assistants are also able to take the Health meets Food Carbohydrates module during the Endocrinology didactic. Additionally, they take the Fats and Hypertension Modules combined to a “Heart Health” hands-on experience during the cardiology didactic.
The Culinary Medicine curriculum is also available to the community. This program is called the Community Cooks Program. There have so far been 20 cohorts who have taken this course. These patients are referred from primary clinics, such as Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Endocrine, and Pediatrics clinics. Patients find these modules to be extremely helpful and educational.
In summary, students, residents, and community participants find the Culinary Medicine elective to be a valuable part of their medical education. Students and patients appreciate having the opportunity to learn how to prepare recipes that meet the guidelines of various diets that they may eventually prescribe. The combination of hands-on cooking and didactic sessions allows students and patients to deepen their own fundamental understanding of food and nutrition while providing a creative opportunity for the development of practical skills.
- Impact of Fresh Food Box Participation on Weight Management Outcomes
- Improving Health Outcomes through Fresh Food Access and Culinary Medicine Education
- Impact of a fresh produce volunteer based delivery program
- Veggie Rx pilot: impact of a produce prescription program on diabetes in rural SC