MHIC Kicks Off Third Year of 'Mission Nutrition'

JANUARY 14, 2015 – The Minority Health Initiative Council at the School of Nursing & Health Studies kicked off the third year of its initiative "Mission Nutrition: Good Nutrition is Our Mission."

Founded by former council member and health care management & policy alumna Nancy Oduro (NHS’13), the effort utilizes a pragmatic, evidence-based approach designed to empower and encourage adolescents to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“Creating a healthy lifestyle for one’s self requires much more than education, but education is an absolutely necessary primary step,” says council member and international health major Shradha Chhabria (NHS’16).

Approaches to Wellness

“We hope that students will continue to ask questions during and long after the program about the relationship between what we put in our bodies and our overall wellness, which has become very complex in our society with the media especially, and that it will give students a healthy and pragmatic paradigm with which to approach their wellness,” she says.

Chhabria developed the current curriculum along with council members Marcus Byrd (NHS’15), an international health major, and Dianna Abreu (NHS’16), a health care management & policy major.

ICP Partnership

This semester, council members will instruct seventh grade students for four weeks in partnership with Georgetown University’s Institute for College Preparation (ICP).

ICP aims to encourage underrepresented groups to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Led by Charlene Brown-McKenzie, MSW, LICSW, director of Georgetown’s Center for Multicultural Equity & Access (CMEA), and Mylynh Nguyen, MS, assistant director of pre-college programs, ICP meets every Saturday and provides middle and high school students with intensive and comprehensive pre-college academic enrichment. 

Education Experiences

According to Chhabria, the Mission Nutrition effort has been an integral supplement to her international health major. 

“A lot of what I have spent time in the classroom at Georgetown hearing and talking about is the theoretical basis behind how to optimize health, how to make access to health services equitable, and how to promote healthy behavioral changes,” she says. “But when one looks at Washington, DC, from a public health perspective, it is clear that many of its residents also lack the resources to ensure their own health, among many other basic necessities.”

Promoting Health

Ultimately, she hopes that Mission Nutrition stimulates the further development of health-focused programs on campus and within the DC community. 

“In our society, what the vast majority of us believe about health comes directly from the media,” she says. “I can't think of any populations that wouldn't benefit from pragmatic programs rooted in a strong evidence base that can help individuals better understand how their health and bodies work. Preventative health care is one of the most effective ways to prevent many common negative health outcomes, and in practice, can be an asset to all and help bring us back to a place of thriving in our relationships with our own health.”

Click here to learn more about Mission Nutrition and MHIC. 

By Khadijah Davis (NHS’15), MHIC co-chair and a health care management & policy major