Change makers: Students Receive Grant to Spread Awareness of Nutrition and Oral Health

December 7, 2016
Change makers: Students Receive Grant to Spread Awareness of Nutrition and Oral Health
Left to right: George Agyapong, Jun Liu, Tiffany Chien, Morgane Amat

HSDM students Morgane Amat and Tiffany Chien (DMD 2019 candidates) and their HMS teammates George Agyapong and Jun Liu (MD 2019 candidates) were recently awarded an Agents of Change grant for their project Interventions in Family Oriented Optimal Diet for Development (iFOODD) which aims to spread awareness of nutrition and oral health in families that have children with special needs.

Agents of Change grants from the Center for Primary Care provide funding of up to $15,000 to Harvard student teams that partner with local community health centers, to create and pursue innovations in primary health care delivery. The iFOODD team will partner with The Dimock Center, a well-known organization in Boston that provides comprehensive health care and human services.

The iFOODD project will build a family-focused nutrition curriculum to complement the multidisciplinary interventions that The Dimock Center’s Early Intervention (EI) team offers children ages 1-3 with developmental delays. The Dimock Center has a robust therapeutic relationship between its EI clinicians, allied health services, developmental specialists and families. The medical and dental students will join EI social workers on visits to families’ homes, and will provide families with tools to communicate with their dentist and primary care physician. The team will also provide guidance on shopping for healthy foods, and recipe and food prep ideas.

“We are excited because we believe that this partnership will have immediate short-term benefits as well as long-term impacts on the children and families served by the EI team. It will promote healthy nutrition and oral health, which will lead to healthy development in early childhood,” said Tiffany Chien on behalf of the iFOODD team.

With time and progress, the iFOODD team hopes the project will also promote age-appropriate trends in weight, reduce the rates of childhood obesity, and produce measurable declines in care utilization among participating families.

“We are all honored and delighted to be working alongside a community of scholars in Agents of Change who have inspired us that with dedication and strong teamwork, we can make a real difference in our community."


See also: Community, Students