The Environment, Our Food and Our Health — Lessons from The Farm at St. Joe's

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It is no surprise that the food we eat and the ways in which it is produced, processed, packaged and distributed in today's globalized economy has an impact on our health and the health of our environment. As Catholic health care, faithful stewardship of the earth and its resources and a commitment to improving the health and wellness of our communities makes this a topic of vital interest. 

This webinar offers a national and local perspective on food and health connections and successful practices. The presenters are a national expert on a sustainable food systems and representatives of a Catholic health facility that has implemented several programs and practices related to this issue. 

Physician, writer and advocate, David Wallinga, represents the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) will shed a spotlight on how our food supply is a public health issues and how it impacts our health. To provide practical and unique solutions, leaders from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System shared their story, which includes The Farm at St. Joe's, a 364-acre farm and educational experience on the grounds of St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, Mich., where organic planting methods provide patients, staff, volunteers and visitors an experiential way to understand the link between fresh air, exercise, fresh food, good nutrition and good health. The Farm’s innovative approach to healing and wellness has garnered CHA's 2013 Achievement Citation. Learn more about the award here. 

In this webinar, the staff behind the creation and management of the farm shares some of the lessons they have learned and insights into how other health care organizations can take what they have learned and adapt it for their own organization, how to generate support for environmental projects, how to find community partners and more.


  • David Wallinga, MD, MPA, Senior Advisor, Science, Food and Health, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy 
  • Rob Casalou, President & CEO, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor & Livingston Hospitals and Health Centers 
  • Dave Raymond, Director of Planning and Design, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System 
  • Dan Bair, Director of Hospital Farming, The Farm at St. Joe’s
  • Lisa McDowell, MS, RD, CNSD, Manager of Clinical Nutrition, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System 

This webinar was broadcast on October 3, 2013.

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