Upshur County, WV Schools’ Farm-to-School Program is receiving some help from Dr Dufresne, a world-renowned DC-area medical researcher.
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WV County’s Farm-to-School Program Assisted by DC Area Medical Researcher
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 07 Mar 2022
FAIRFAX—Dr Craig R Dufresne, MD, met Thursday, March 3rd, with Mateal Poling, Farm-to-School Coordinator for Upshur County Schools in West Virginia, at his Fairfax, Virginia office to discuss the Upshur County Schools Farm-to-School Program family survey being carried out in West Virginia. Dufresne, a world-renowned researcher who has worked with NIH and many other prestigious institutions, is collaborating with Poling to develop and support the Farm-to-School Program’s survey. The survey aims to help Upshur County Schools understand how students’ families make food choices and what their perspectives on food sources are. Survey results will help Poling guide the Program and directly contribute to enriching students’ agricultural educational experiences, community outreach, and food served in schools.
Dufresne, an academic craniofacial surgeon known for his ground-breaking work in facial trauma and rare birth defects, also has a background in zoology and conducted grant-funded surgical physiology research in livestock. He has fond memories of his grandparents’ farm and enjoys gardening himself. When Poling approached him about developing and supporting a survey to support the Farm-to-School Program, he was happy to help.
The first county-level Farm-to-School Coordinator in West Virginia, Poling previously taught English and health in Upshur County Schools since the 1980s and has been Dufresne’s volunteer research proofreader for 6 years, contributing to over 20 medical journal articles and 6 national medical conference presentations. Poling comes from a multi-generational farming family and continues the tradition on her grandparents’ farm with a few chickens and a high tunnel, in which she and her husband raise heirloom produce for their family.
Farm-to-School is a national, USDA-led initiative, with corresponding state and local government programs, whose goals are to improve agricultural education and general awareness of food sources and increase the amount of local food served in schools. The program in Upshur County was funded by a generous one-year pilot grant from the West Virginia Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition.
It’s Dufresne’s hope that accurate and locally-targeted information about family food choices and perspectives on fresh, local food will improve outreach efforts and child nutrition in schools and serve as a blueprint for others. Poling agrees, noting that food choices are very much a local matter.
Craig R Dufresne, MD, PC, with offices in Fairfax, Virginia and Chevy Chase, Maryland, is a premier private solo practice providing aesthetic and reconstructive surgery care to adults and children from across the globe. Research supports the mission to provide safe, exceptional, innovative, and compassionate care that enhances overall well-being and health.