As healthcare organizations look to the future, many see an increasing need to focus also on preventative care and nutrition education in their communities and among outpatients.

At Wexner, that has led to some additional responsibilities for Jim Warner, who took on the role of program director for a variety of initiatives that seek to translate the department’s food and nutrition expertise into programs that can be embraced by the communities Wexner serves.

Usng his significant experience as a chef and public speaker, Warner advances the department’s food and nutrition offerings through culinary demos and other food events with community organizations. He also supports for the broad wellness programs advanced by OSU’s managed health initiative and helping organize specialized programs with other OSU departments.

For example, as a land grant college, OSU has always had an on-campus farm. Warner organized a cross-department partnership with it, James Care for Life oncology physicians and Nutrition Services to operate a unique program serving James Care patients. Called “Garden for Hope,” it provides therapeutic gardening activities for cancer survivors and as a platform for outpatient nutrition education.

“Top Docs,” another program operated with James Care, brought together its leading physicians in a culinary competition that paired high nutrition and “superfood” ingredients used currently in cancer research. In another initiative, he organized Wexner’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer’s market, offered weekly at several hospital sites.

“People tend to think of hospital nutrition services in terms of patient and retail foodservice,” says Jones.