Public Vote Can Help Win $20,000 Grant for UAMS Culinary Medicine Finalist

By ChaseYavondaC

Margaret Pauly, R.D., culinary nutritionist for the UAMS Culinary Medicine program, is one of 10 finalists out of 100 entries for the siggi’s starters℠ grant program, which would help fund UAMS Nutrition2U.

UAMS Nutrition2U offers nutrition education and cooking tips for community members, particularly those in underserved populations and who have chronic diseases that are impacted by lifestyle. It is an expansion of the UAMS Culinary Medicine program, which began in August 2019 and teaches senior medical students about nutrition so that they can better advise their patients on healthy eating and lifestyle.

Portrait of Pauly

Margaret Pauly, RD

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“I saw firsthand how healthy food and lifestyle changes impacted my own health when I was diagnosed with high cholesterol in my forties,” Pauly said. “Our medical students have seen the difference too, and we’ve gotten great feedback that they found the course to be a valuable tool for helping their future patients. Now we feel it’s time for the next step in our outreach — taking these lessons directly to the public, particularly underserved communities, with a mobile demonstration kitchen.”

The Nutrition2U program would be taught by a team of students and interns led by a culinary nutritionist and give demonstrations and talks on nutrition in an effective, culturally relevant and fun manner.

“The whole idea behind the program — and the name Nutrition 2U — emphasizes the program’s mobile nature,” Pauly said. “It will go to areas most in need, eliminating transportation barriers for participants.”

Topics would include how diet and nutrition can prevent or control chronic diseases. Depending on the audience and facility, the presentations could be conducted via video with a cooking demonstration, or with hands-on recipe prep and cooking by participants. There would be an emphasis on recipes and meals that are inexpensive and easy to make.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.