BOSTON – Dec. 2, 2019 – Dr. Lauren Fiechtner, MD, MPH of MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) is the new Senior Health and Research Advisor for The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). This establishes a strong link between MGHfC and Massachusetts General Hospital, the U.S. News and World Report’s #1 hospital on the East Coast, and GBFB, the largest hunger-relief organization in New England.
Dr. Fiechtner, the director of Nutrition, in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MGHfC, will design and lead GBFB’s Health and Research strategy by identifying key partnerships aligned with GBFB’s commitment to providing healthy food to those in need, bolstering strong health outcomes, and supporting GBFB and its vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028.
A graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Fiechtner obtained her Master’s in Public Health at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. Her research and clinical interests include treating and preventing childhood obesity in the community and improving care for patients with oral aversion and feeding difficulties, focusing on food-insecure families and community members.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Lauren’s enthusiasm and expertise leading our health and research strategy development,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB’s president and CEO. “Our team is devoted to distributing even more nutritious food to positively impact the health of hungry and food-insecure members of our community while at the same time advancing more research and policy that will help us reach our vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028.”
“Access to healthy food is vital for children as they grow. My goal is to create effective interventions for high-risk groups who, because of unmet social needs, lack necessary resources.” says Dr. Fiechtner. “GBFB has served vulnerable families for decades and I’m looking forward to furthering that work in my new role.”
Dr. Fiechtner has extensive experience with research design as well as implementing clinical and community-based pediatric weight management programs in underserved areas. She has presented her work at the Pediatric Academic Societies, the Obesity Society and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition annual meetings. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Childhood Obesity, Preventive Medicine and Preventing Chronic Disease among others.
GBFB was the first Food Bank in the country to hire a medical doctor on staff and established a Health and Research team in 2016 to study and address the harmful effects of hunger on health. A year ago, GBFB embarked on a strategic vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028. The three foundational components to achieving this goal include increasing access to nutritious food, expanding research and policy initiatives, and building network capacity. Currently sixty-five percent of the food distributed by The Greater Boston Food Bank is perishable, including one third being fresh produce.
About The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB provides the equivalent of nearly 57 million healthy meals annually distributed through its network of 530 member agencies in the 190 cities and towns across Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB serves more than 140,000 people every month in its vision to create a Hunger Free Eastern Massachusetts by 2028. For more information, visit us at GBFB.org, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@gr8bosfoodbank), or call us at 617.427.5200.