Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine Inducted into the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative

Contact:Robert Cavanaugh, Manager of Public Affairs

Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine Inducted into the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative

Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine is pleased to announce it has been inducted as a member of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC).

TKC is a partner organization of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America.   The TKC is an invitational, multi-year learning network of thought leading organizations using teaching kitchen facilities as catalysts of enhanced personal and public health across medical, corporate, school, and community settings. TKC includes prestigious universities such as Dartmouth, Northwestern, Princeton and Stanford, as well as highly-respected medical organizations such as the Cleveland Clinic, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Northwell Health (formerly North Shore LIJ Health System). In addition, Google, Barilla and the Compass Group are grantors.

 “We are proud to welcome Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine to the TKC and we look forward to our collective work in accelerating the innovative use of teaching kitchen best practices nationwide”, said David Eisenberg, MD, Director of Culinary Nutrition and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We chose Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine because their unique care model, involving five Pillars of Health (Purpose, Resilience, Nutrition, Activity, Sleep), aligns well with our mission.”

“We are honored to be invited and very excited about this affiliation,” said Lori Knutson, R.N., BSN, HNB-BC, administrative director of Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine. “We are looking forward to helping develop standards of practice, partnering opportunities for research, and engaging with experts around the country who are committed to healthy nutrition for all people.”  

The goals of the TKC are to (1) develop “best practices” across emerging teaching kitchen programs nationwide; (2) explore research strategies whereby changes in behavior, clinical outcome and costs for those participating in Teaching Kitchen programs can be measured and documented; and (3) explore opportunities whereby prototype teaching kitchen programs and projects can be replicated and scaled through multi-site demonstration projects.  “Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine is in a unique position to contribute to these shared aspirational objectives and it is a pleasure to be working with Lori Knutson and her team,” added Dr. Eisenberg.

Hackensack Meridian’s Women’s Heart Fund is generously supporting 15 Hackensack Meridian Health team members (including 12 physicians) to attend the Healthy Kitchens, Heathy Lives® conference in Napa Valley this week. The conference is an annual gathering of physicians, registered dietitian nutritionists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals whose goal is to bridge nutrition science, healthcare, and the culinary arts.  “We are so grateful to the Women’s Heart Fund for this most generous gift.  Our physicians will be trained in food science, mindful eating, and methods to integrate nutrition into practice and patient care,” commented Knutson.

For additional information, please visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 13 hospitals, including two academic medical centers, two children’s hospitals and nine community hospitals, physician practices, more than 120 ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care and after-hours centers. Hackensack Meridian Health has 28,000 team members, more than 6,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The Network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, the number one hospital in New Jersey as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
The hospitals of Hackensack Meridian Health include: academic medical centers – HackensackUMC in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune; children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, HackensackUMC Mountainside in Montclair, HackensackUMC Palisades in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley in Westwood.

For additional information, please visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org.