February 2023

Message from the Director


February is Black History Month, a time when we honor the contributions and recognize the sacrifices that African Americans have made in building this country. Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) chooses a new theme for Black History Month. This year, the theme is “Black Resistance,” chosen to highlight the ways in which African-Americans have fought repression throughout history. ASALH explains: “This is a call to everyone, inside, and outside the academy to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.” I hope that you consider taking up this call. 

Please make note of our upcoming events. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Onboarding training for our new cohort and the annual Mini College for new and graduating Fellows, that will take place June 21-22, 2023, at The California Endowment in Sacramento, CA. 

In Health and Solidarity,

Wagahta Semere, MD, MHS

Fellowship Director & Assistant Professor

UCSF School of Medicine

Reminder! Find articles and resources related to your area(s) of interest by clicking on the icon(s) that correspond to our five focus areas, below:

Save the Date!

Access to Nutritious Foods is Vital to Improving Patients’ Health 

By: Rahki Singh, MD

Champion Provider Fellow (Cohort 4, San Mateo County)

It’s hard for me to believe that I have now been practicing medicine for twenty years. Every day has been a gift …It has been and continues to be an honor to be a part of my patients’ lives.

I serve patients in a community health center in Redwood City, where many struggle to manage their chronic diseases in the face of financial insecurity that often requires them to work multiple low-paying jobs. As their primary care provider, I thought my role was to educate and partner with my patients on their continued journey of well-being. I would draw simple diagrams explaining what high blood pressure and high blood sugar can do to the body. It took me nearly two decades of practicing medicine before I realized that many of my patients lacked access to the very foods I was advising them to eat.  Read More


Thurs. Feb 23 | 2:00 - 3:00pm | Register

Quarterly LHD Call (LHDs)


Thurs. May 11 | 12:15 - 1:15pm | Register

Works-In-Progress Call (Fellows)

60eb9319-1d46-405d-8f4a-1cb8c54f61de image

Thurs. May 18 | 12:15 - 1:15pm | Register

Common Threads Webinar

Thurs. May 18 | 2:00 - 3:00pm | Register

Quarterly LHD Call (LHDs)


Wed-Thurs. Jun 21-22 | Register

2023 Onboarding/Mini College

Fellow Activities

Dr. Timothy Wong (Cohort 4, Los Angeles County) (left)

Dr. Wong recently, in partnership with the Chinese American Dental Society of Southern California, visited an elementary school to provide their annual gift smile kits. As part of the event, they had 5 volunteer doctors screen about 180 kids and distributed their dental hygiene kits.

Read More

Dr. Melissa Campos (left) and Dr. Fadra Whyte (right) are collaborating to highlight awareness about sugary drinks that children often consume.


Dr. Melissa Campos

(Cohort 4, San Diego County) 

Dr. Melissa Campos is working with her FQHC clinic to institute a sugar sweetened beverage intervention. She plans to share educational materials and water infused drink recipes with patients.

Dr. Fadra Whyte

(Cohort 4, San Diego County)

Dr. Whyte presented at the annual conference for the California Academy of Physician Assistants.

Dr. Campos and Dr. Whyte are working with San Ysidro Health to pilot an education program utilizing the Sugar Beverage Awareness video that Dr. Amy Beck (Cohort 2, San Francisco) created.

Read More
Reminder! Brown·Miller Communications is here to help you!
Need help with message development, op-ed support, or preparing for an interview? Make sure to contact Mike Miller or Muriel Bañares of Brown·Miller Communications. They provide a multitude of media and communication services to Champion Provider Fellows and local health departments. Send them an email to find out how they can help you!
*Champion Provider Listserv*
Collaborate & communicate with Champion Provider
Fellows across the state about your community change efforts.
Post a message by emailing: [email protected]
NOTE: Please do not use the listserv to promote lobbying efforts or to discuss patient care. 
Join Listserv

USDA program keeps extra COVID-era money for fruits, veggies

U.S. agriculture officials proposed changes Thursday to the federal program that helps pay the grocery bills for low-income pregnant women, babies and young children, including extending a bump in payments for fresh fruits and vegetables allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more here.

From the Field
Note: Materials included in this section are for reference and information purposes only and do not imply endorsement by the federal government, California Department of Public Health, or the University of California, San Francisco.

Emptier Plates: Hunger Reduction Advances Eaten Up by Aid Cuts and Inflation

United States Hunger Atlas and Annual Survey Report. Hunger Free America. (2022).

Hunger Free America attributes the surge in food insecurity to the expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit and universal school meals, coupled with the impact of inflation. Many federal benefit increases have either gone away entirely, or are being ramped down, even as prices for food, rent, healthcare, and fuel continue to soar.

Read the report here.

Food as Medicine: Overview and Report: How Food and Diet Impact the Treatment of Disease and Disease Management

Center for Food As Medicine and Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center (2022).

This comprehensive narrative review and report is divided into five parts, including: 1) background information on the history of using food to treat disease, 2) modern challenges to widespread use and acceptance of food as medicine practices, 3) current evidence about contemporary food as medicine practices (such as medically tailored meals, produce prescriptions, and functional foods), 4) literature review of food as treatment for specific disease states, and 5) recommendations to stakeholders (including policymakers, health care professionals, and academics) to contribute to a healthier, more equitable health care system. 

Download the report here.

ded16f79-a907-4842-8bac-4856a3c54086 image

Food is a Right: Libraries and Food Justice

Urban Libraries Council (2023)

Public libraries have been supporting food access, advocating for food quality and providing nutrition information in their communities for decades through initiatives such as seed libraries, meal distribution, SNAP/WIC enrollment support. To guide library leaders in taking meaningful steps forward in their work on addressing this vital issue, this white paper includes effective and replicable practices to guide the field in co-creating solutions with local communities.

View the white paper here.

More Opportunities
FDA-Logo image

Extended Comment Period for Proposed Rule: Nutrient Content Claims; Definition of Term "Healthy"

Deadline for Comments: February 16, 2023

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a proposed rule entitled Food Labeling: Nutrient Content Claims; Definition of Term “Healthy” to update the definition of the nutrient content claim “healthy.” The “healthy” claim can act as a quick signal on food package labels to help empower consumers, including those with lower nutrition knowledge, with information to identify foods that will help them build healthy eating patterns. This action is just one part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to reduce diet-related chronic diseases and advance health equity. 

The FDA is extending the comment period for the proposed rule entitled Food Labeling: Nutrient Content Claims; Definition of Term “Healthy” to February 16, 2023. Comments should be submitted to Regulations.gov and identified with the docket number FDA-2016-D-2335.

Read more here and Comment here.