TACKLING HUNGER seeks to find and disseminate effective strategies to address food insecurity and its relationship to acute medical events in people with chronic diseases. Through cutting edge, actionable research, we intend to drive public policy change and program innovation at the federal, state, community, and institutional levels.

The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization with 50 years of experience, headquartered in Oakland CA. As one of the largest independent nonprofit health organizations in the world, PHI is at the forefront of innovations to improve the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of individuals across the nation and around the world. For decades, PHI and its programs have acknowledged the epidemics of obesity and chronic disease by addressing nutrition, physical activity and environmental barriers. PHI actively consults with policy makers on food and physical activity policy; meets with farmers to increase programs that bring healthy, affordable foods to communities; and mobilizes local community members through culturally appropriate engagement strategies to find solutions where they live.


TACKLING HUNGER builds on PHI’s established work on chronic disease prevention, and nutrition, food and agriculture program and policy initiatives at the national, state, and local levels. www.phi.org



Kevin Barnett, Dr.P.H, M.C.P. 

Kevin is Principal Investigator for the Tackling Hunger Project at the Public Health Institute, where he is a Senior Investigator who has led research and fieldwork in hospital community benefit and health workforce diversity for more than two decades. Recent work includes a national study of community health assessments and implementation strategies for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a national initiative funded by the Kresge Foundation to align and focus investments by hospitals, other health sector stakeholders, and financial institutions in low income communities. Kevin served on the IOM committee that produced the 2004 report “In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce,” and has led numerous studies in the workforce diversity arena. He currently serves as the Co-Director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, as a member of the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Trinity Health System.

Holly Calhoun

Holly is the Project Manager for the Tackling Hunger Project at the Public Health Institute, where she conducts research on promising and emerging practices to engage the health care sector in addressing food insecurity and chronic disease. Holly joined PHI in 2012 and has worked with multiple programs to increase food access and affordability and build a healthy, sustainable food system through policy change and program development at the national, state, and local levels. She has served as the Project Coordinator of the Healthy Farms Healthy People Coalition, the Healthy Food Systems Coordinator for the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, and coordinated the Farm to Fork program for Roots of Change and the California Food Policy Council. Prior to joining PHI, Holly coordinated a farm to school program, managed the Echo Park Farmers’ Market, and designed and implemented a Market Match/healthy incentive program at five farmers’ markets in Los Angeles County.

Sandra Garcia, Ph.D. 

Sandra is a Research Scientist at the Public Health Institute focusing on economic and program evaluation, and research design and methodology. Sandra's work centers on conducting the economic burden study of food insecurity among older adults and assessing screening protocols and interventions associated with food insecurity in adults with chronic diseases. She has also applied economic models to assess the health care costs and utilization associated with ADHD and phenylketonuria. Throughout her professional career she has employed diverse large and small survey, administrative, official, and experimental data to evaluate health outcomes, health care costs, and utilization among vulnerable populations.

Anne C. Haddix, Ph.D. 

Anne is Principal Investigator for the Tackling Hunger Project at the CDC Foundation, and is an economist and managing partner of Minga Analytics LLC, which provides expertise on population health, food system and community health policy and community engagement. She specializes in legislative and regulatory strategy, policy analysis, and economic evaluation. Anne served as the Chief Policy Officer for CDC from 2006 to 2010, where she developed the agency’s health in all policies agenda, a multi sector approach to solving the most complex and persistent health problems. In addition to her health and food systems policy work, Anne provides advice on economic analysis, regulatory impact analysis, interagency strategy and networking, guideline development, legislative implementation and transition planning.

Consultative Group 

The Consultative Group helped to develop a prioritized research agenda, and provided expertise to assist in the identification promising practices through the Exploratory Evaluation.

Michelle Berger-Marshall, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., Director of Nutrition, Feeding America

John T. Cook, Ph.D., M.A,Ed., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, and Senior Research Scientist and Principal Investigator, Children’s HealthWatch, Boston Medical Center

Stephen Cook, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Golisano Children's Hospital at University of Rochester Medical Center

Jeremy Everett, M.Div., Executive Director, Texas Hunger Initiative, Baylor University School of Social Work

Deborah Frank, M.D., Director, Grow Clinic for Children and Principal Investigator, Children's HealthWatch, Boston Medical Center, and Professor, Boston University School of Medicine

Richard A. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H., J.D., Director, Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

Hilary Seligman, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and Senior Medical Advisor and Lead  Scientist, Feeding America

Jung Sun Lee, Ph.D., R.D., Associate Professor and Faculty of Gerontology, University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Jean Terranova, J.D., Director of Food and Health Policy, Community Servings

Aliza Wasserman, M.S., M.P.H., Policy and Advocacy Manger, Wholesome Wave

Practitioner's Expert Panel

The Practitioners’ Expert Panel provided input, expert guidance, and review in the development of the Community Health Needs Assessment Guidance.

Michael Bilton, Senior Director, Community Health and Benefit, Dignity Health

Leigh Caswell, Director, Community Health, Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Debbie Chang, M.P.H., Executive Vice President, Policy and Prevention, Nemours Children’s Health System

Teresa Cutts, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Wake Forest SOM/Wake Forest Baptist Health System

Mark Grace, M.Div., B.C.C., A.C.P.E., Chief Mission and Ministry Officer, Baylor, Scott & White Health

Maureen Kersmarki, Director, Community Benefit and Public Policy, Adventist Health System

Pamela Schwartz, M.P.H. Director, Program Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Barb Petee, Chief Advocacy and Government Relations Officer, ProMedica

Joan Quinlan, M.P.A., Vice President, Community Health, Massachusetts General Hospital

Deborah Unger, Director, Community Benefit, Aurora Health Care

Partners & Funders

The project has been supported by a strong alliance of governmental and non-governmental organizations, generous funders, and experts in the field. 

The Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN)

NOPREN is a thematic research network of the Prevention Research Centers Program. The CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) created NOPREN to foster understanding of the effectiveness of policies to prevent childhood obesity through improved access to affordable, healthier foods and beverages in child care, schools, worksite, and other community settings. www.nopren.org

The Root Cause Coalition

The Root Cause Coalition is a national, member-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the root causes of health disparities by focusing on hunger and other social determinants leading to nationwide epidemic of preventable chronic health conditions. Founded by ProMedica and AARP Foundation, the coalition’s diverse membership is dedicated to bringing the full power of health care to bear in our collective fight to address the short- and long-term health of our communities. www.rootcausecoalition.org

AARP Foundation 

AARP Foundation serves vulnerable people 50+ by creating and advancing effective solutions that help them secure the essentials. The Foundation helps struggling seniors by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today by providing direct assistance and legal advocacy, and by raising awareness about the critical issues low-income older Americans face today. www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation



ProMedica is a locally-owned, nonprofit health system providing quality health care services to 27 counties in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. They are a network of hospitals, physicians, health care professionals, researchers, and specialty clinics and facilities offering a full range of diagnostic, medical, and surgical specialties in areas such as emergency medicine and trauma, heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, women’s services, and children’s services. www.promedica.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

CDC is the nation’s leading public health agency, dedicated to saving lives and protecting the health of Americans. The Agency keeps America secure by controlling disease outbreaks; making sure food and water are safe; helping people to avoid leading causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes; and working globally to reduce threats to the nation’s health. www.cdc.gov

CDC Foundation

Established by Congress as an independent, nonprofit organization, the CDC Foundation connects the CDC with private-sector organizations and individuals to build public health programs that make our world healthier and safer. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has provided more than $620 million to support CDC's work, launched 800 programs around the world and built a network of individuals and organizations committed to supporting CDC and public health. www.cdcfoundation.org


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