The Culinary Medicine Program at Geisinger

The Culinary Medicine Program at Geisinger

Leadership and Faculty

Stacy Coolbaugh, MBA, RDN, LDN

Associate Director | Culinary Medicine Program
Director | Outpatient Clinical Nutrition Services

Stacy directly manages all Culinary Medicine operational endeavors and strategic initiatives. She also oversees collaborative efforts towards program growth. Stacy is the director of Geisinger’s Outpatient Clinical Nutrition department, which includes clinic settings as well as special programs such as Culinary Medicine, Fresh Food Farmacy, and Geisinger 65 Forward.

She received her BS in Clinical Dietetics and MBA from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Originally from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, she has worked for Geisinger for nine years.

Jennifer Franceschelli Hosterman, DO, FAAP

Medical Director | Culinary Medicine Program
Director | Pediatric Weight Management Program
Associate Director | Nutrition and Weight Management- Western Region
Director | Nutrition and Weight Management Fellowship

Dr. Franceschelli Hosterman plays a key role in the implementation of professional class programming for Geisinger’s resident and fellow population. Additionally, she supports all academic and research-related endeavors for the program. Dr. Franceschelli Hosterman received her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before completing the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency and Nutrition and Weight Management fellowship at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.

Her clinical interests and specialties include adult and pediatric malnutrition and comprehensive weight management. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Board of Obesity Medicine, and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. Originally from Old Forge, Pennsylvania, Dr. Franceschelli Hosterman has worked for Geisinger for ten years.

Culinary Medicine Programming

Medical Student Programming

Discussions are underway with the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine to launch Culinary Medicine as an elective course. This month-long clinical elective will be a collaboration with Geisinger’s Nutrition and Weight Management department. Students will split their time between Nutrition and Weight Management, where they will explore counseling, surgical, and medical interventions, and Culinary Medicine, where they will attend classes as students and ultimately facilitate community classes.

Medical Professional Programming

Professional classes are held at least weekly for residents and fellows at this time. Classes are not offered in a series format, rather, they are available for registration individually. This allows for ever-changing rotation schedules and allows the physicians to take classes which are relevant to their practice area.

Community Programming

Community classes are offered in a series of four (4) classes to any interested adult. This includes community members, patients, and employees. Classes are typically offered on consecutive weeks and may be held in the daytime or evening. Weekend classes typically offered monthly.


The Culinary Medicine program is approved as an activity which counts towards MyHealth Rewards, an incentive program to receive an insurance premium discount through the Geisinger Health Plan. MyHealth Rewards considers an individual’s health metrics and lifestyle choices, then provides resources to help them meet their goals. Other healthy activities which are part of the program include dental visits, weight counseling, gym and sport reimbursement, yoga classes, and more. Participants who complete a community series of four (4) or more Culinary Medicine classes receive a credit towards the premium discount.


Our teaching kitchen opened in Selinsgrove, PA in April 2022. Since then, we have held weekly community and professional classes. We also launched virtual classes. (not a challenge- just an update)
Other challenges have included attendance and recruitment. While many classes are full, there is unfortunately a high no-show and cancellation rate. Recruitment has been difficult as marketing efforts and resources have been limited. Additionally, no volunteers or support staff are involved in daily operations. This puts logistical limitations on the number of classes which can be offered. THIS IS NO LONGER A CHALLENGE

Our team works diligently to swiftly address challenges as they become known. At this time, the program is running smoothly.


Funding is provided through grants and charitable donations. Other revenue-generating options to create a more sustainable model are being considered.

Research and Publications

No research publications at this point in time.

Survey data is collected from participants, including learning objectives and outcomes and attitudes towards cooking and nutrition. Geisinger developed their own documentation and survey utilizing internal research resources, but also offer Health Meets Food’s program survey and questionnaire to contribute to the national data pool as able.


Efforts to create an interactive social media page are underway, in order to engage past, current, and future participants.

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