Published on July 13, 2020

Midland Cardiac Patients to Benefit from Grant for Mobile Teaching Kitchen

MidMichigan Health Foundation was recently awarded a grant from the Allen Foundation that will aid in teaching cardiac patients healthy ways of eating and to preparing foods.

The $49,425 grant helped fund the purchase of a Mobile Teaching Kitchen that will be located in MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland’s new Heart and Vascular Center opening in the fall of 2020.

Under the direction of Jennifer Felten, R.N., B.S.N., cardiac nurse specialist, the Mobile Teaching Kitchen will be utilized to offer nutrition education to patients who have had open heart surgery or angioplasty. Felten, with the assistance of a registered dietician, will instruct patients on how to prepare foods in a way that can help reduce risks for additional cardiac incidents and an overall healthier approach to eating.

Felten has extensive background in working with cardiac patients in both intensive care and rehabilitation units, has studied nutrition, and has trained at the Health Meets Food Conference which offers medical culinary specialist certifications. She has also facilitated the Healing Hearts support group in Midland for three years. Her philosophy is that prevention is the best medicine.

“So many of today's chronic health conditions can be prevented by what we eat, said Felten. “It’s important to limit sodium, sugar and saturated fats. There are many delicious and nutritious ways to cook to maintain good heart health. I’m looking forward to giving patients some control over their health through the way they approach food.”

The new program will be offered to cardiac patients monthly in 1.5 – 2 hour sessions beginning in January 2021.

“The Allen Foundation, committed and chartered to the advancement of human nutrition and nutritional research, is again thrilled to partner with MidMichigan Health in this project,” said Mark Ostahowski, M.D., president, Allen Foundation. “We look forward to the growth and success of the Mobile Testing Kitchen and the entirety of cardiovascular advancement at the Medical Center in Midland.”

Sunita Vadakath, M.D., system vice president of service lines for MidMichigan Health, is equally enthusiastic. “We are pleased to be in a position to deepen our educational opportunities for cardiac patients as part of their overall care plan. We are thankful to the Allen Foundation for their approach to care through education and supporting heart patients in our community.”

Those who are interested in more information about the upcoming programs may reach Felten at jennifer.felten@midmichigan.or or (989) 839-3569.

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