Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Loyola Nursing Professor Earns Grant to Help Kids Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Grant to support new federal guidelines to increase healthy foods in schools

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Fresh fruits and vegetables will grace the plates of more young people this fall thanks to new federal guidelines, which require students to select at least one vegetable or fruit per lunch. The U. S. Department of Agriculture guidelines also require dark green, orange or red vegetables and legumes to be served at least once a week.

To help meet these guidelines, community outreach nurse Ann Andreoni, DNP, RN, CPNP, recently received an Action for Healthy Kids grant to fund the installation of salad bars at four of the 10 schools in District 89, which covers Maywood and parts of Melrose Park and Broadview. Dr. Andreoni will seek additional funding for the remaining six schools after the pilot program is implemented.

Action for Healthy Kids is a program that works with schools, families and communities to help children live healthier lives. More than 500 schools were awarded funds along with management expertise and support to develop strong nutrition programs around school breakfasts, summer meals, access to healthy foods and nutrition education. This funding also will help the district meet the requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which strives to improve nutrition for children.

“I am pleased that we will be able to make it easier for these schools to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to their students,” said Dr. Andreoni, who also is a pediatric nurse practitioner and an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). “This grant will allow us to improve the quality of food our children eat in school, making them more equipped to excel in the classroom.”

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.