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 part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, 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 a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.