Leaders Eat Last: Food Insecurity and Wellness - Bob Woodruff Foundation

Leaders Eat Last: Food Insecurity and Wellness

Watch It Again: Food Insecurity and Wellness

Join the Bob Woodruff Foundation and a panel of experts for a discussion about the connection between food insecurity and wellness.

About This Event

In this panel, we’ll examine how food insecurity impacts physical and behavioral health outcomes for children and adults, the relationship between food insecurity and mental health conditions, and how food security impacts social determinants of health on an individual and community level.

The panel will be be moderated by Lee Woodruff, co-founder of BWF. The panel will be opened by BWF Chief Executive Officer Anne Marie Dougherty, and features Chief Program Officer Margaret “Meg” Harrell, Ph.D. in the role of discussant.

Expert Panelists

Nathaniel Mohatt, PHD
Dept of Veterans Affairs, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine

Dr Nathaniel Mohatt is a community psychologist, with extensive experience implementing programs in rural and indigenous communities to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families. His areas of expertise are community action, suicide prevention, health disparities and equity, and empowerment and participatory action research to enhance community resilience. Dr Mohatt holds appointments as a Research Psychologist with the VA’s Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (RMIRECC); an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) School of Medicine; and a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, Division of Prevention and Community Research. He additionally serves as a subject matter expert in psychological health and prevention research for the US Army Medical Research and Development Command Military Operational Medicine Research Program.

Diana Brostow, PhD, MPH, RDN
Dept of Veterans Affairs, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine

Dr. Diana Brostow earned her PhD in Human Nutrition in 2014, and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She first joined the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System in 2015 as a Health Services Research Fellow, and as the clinical Dietitian for the Denver VA Medical Center’s inpatient homeless program. Since joining the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) in 2018, Dr. Brostow’s research has focused primarily on food insecurity in relation to mental health and polytraumatic injury rehabilitation. Specifically, she is interested in the biological, psychosocial, environmental, and economic factors that comprise “nutritional functioning”, and shape how combat Veterans with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) access and use food. In 2020, Dr. Brostow was awarded a VA Career Development Award in Rehabilitation Research and Development to develop a comprehensive measure of nutritional functioning to be used to assess combat Veterans’ nutritional needs. This measure will allow clinicians and mental health providers to target personalized therapies aimed at augmenting psychosocial recovery and enhancing reintegration into civilian life.

Cindy Leung, ScD, MPH
University of Michigan School of Public Health

Dr. Cindy Leung is an Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Trained as a nutrition epidemiologist, her research focuses on the experience of food insecurity and its negative influence on health across the life course. In particular, her research combines qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate the role of chronic stress as a novel mechanism underlying food insecurity and diet-related health outcomes in children, adolescents, college students, adults, and older adults. She is especially interested in using this research to inform the development of federal programs and policies to help alleviate food insecurity and promote good health for vulnerable populations. Dr. Leung holds an adjunct appointment at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She earned her B.A. and M.P.H. from UC Berkeley and her Sc.D in Nutrition and Epidemiology from Harvard University.