Press Releases: National
February 1, 2007
Kaiser Permanente’s “Father of the Farmers’ Markets” Awarded Prestigious Policy Fellowship
Dr. Preston Maring Named W. K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Society Policy Fellow
Oakland, Calif. – The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, this week named Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Preston Maring as one of its national W. K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Society Policy Fellows for 2007-2008.
This prestigious program had more than 190 applicants this year for the 10 fellowships awarded. The program provides policy and communications training to fellows over a two-year period. It allows them to work on communications and media activities to address the issues and challenges associated with a more healthy and sustainable food and agriculture system.
Maring, age 61, is the associate physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center. He is responsible for tertiary care services planning and development for the medical center’s 200,000 health plan members as well as members from around the health plan’s Northern California region.
Maring has worked at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center for more than 35 years. He is also an enthusiastic cook who, with the support of Kaiser Permanente leadership, started a farmers’ market at the medical center in May 2003 for the benefit of staff, members, visitors, local farmers and the community surrounding the medical center. Since that time, the farmers’ market concept has taken off like wildfire within the integrated health care organization, and more than 34 markets are now open at Kaiser Permanente facilities within six states.
Maring is also deeply involved with other food policy work within the organization, including the recent launch of an inpatient food pilot in the health plan’s Northern California region, which led to a program being established for small local family farmers to get their produce served in the region’s 19 hospitals.
In addition to policy and communications training, the fellowship will provide a vehicle for Maring to share Kaiser Permanente’s best practices in the area of food policy with other health care institutions.
The Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute is a nonprofit Missouri-based organization that conducts agricultural education and research projects and administers the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Society Policy Fellowship. The institute was founded in 1997, and is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a national philanthropy which focuses on granting in the areas of health, food systems, rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and volunteerism.
Photo of Dr. Preston Maring available upon request
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.