University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Family Medicine


TOPMEd Cultural Awareness Day

Promoting Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Awareness

The Cultural Awareness Workshop is an annual half-day conference organized and sponsored by the Department of Family Medicine.



2015: Food, Culture, and Health

The fourteenth annual Cultural Awareness Workshop was a half-day symposium designed to introduce health care students and professionals to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to provide competent, comprehensive, and sensitive care to address the impact of food on patient health.

Educational Objectives:

At the end of this conference, participants were able to:

  1. Define the role of food as medicine.
  2. Identify and discuss how culture impacts nutrition and health.
  3. Define food insecurity.
  4. Identify communication tools to address food's impact on patient health.
  5. Recoginize the multiple challenges to following good nutritional practice-including systemic, modifiable, and intrinsic challenges.
  6. Recognize caregiver bias and micro aggression and learn to mitigate their effects.
  7. Recognize the role of community resources and how they can support patient health.

Conference Speakers and Faculty



Cynthia Geyer, MD is the Medical Director of Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA. Dr. Cindy Geyer received her Bachelor of Science and her Doctor of Medicine degrees, with honors, from Ohio State University.  She completed her internship and residency in Medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Geyer specializes in women’s health issues such as transition hormones, effects of sleep deprivation, and weight loss management strategies to boost metabolism and harness energy. In addition to her role at Canyon Ranch, Dr. Geyer is one of the core faculty members at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s (CMBM) “Food as Medicine” conference.


Innovation Panel:

  • Moderator: Carol Buck-Rolland, EdD, APRN Clinical Professor, Graduate Program Coordinator, The University of Vermont College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Doug Davis, SNS, Director of Food Service, Burlington School Food Project; Burlington, Vermont School District
  • Diane Imrie, MBA, RD, Director of Nutrition Services, The University of Vermont Medical Center
  • Alicia Jacobs, MD, Vice Chair of Clinical Operations, Family Medicine, The University of Vermont College of Medicine; VYCC Health Care Shares
  • Suzanne Kelley, MSW, Vermont Department of Health; Farm to Plate Initiative



Martha Seagrave PA-C is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Director of the Family Medicine Medical Student Education Program. She is the principal investigator for the TOPMEd HRSA Training Grant.  Ms. Seagrave is co-director of the Cultural Awareness Workshop.

This workshop is possible thanks to support from:

University of Vermont College of Medicine:

UVM College of Nursing and Health Science
TOPMEd HRSA Training Grant

Last modified October 06 2015 03:26 PM