Vanessa Boshuizen, MD, PL-3 and Xing Wang, MD, PL-1


As part of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California pediatrics residency, all residents participate in the Resident Education in Advocacy and Community Health (REACH) program. Residents are encouraged to explore and meet with area organizations with the goal of strengthening relationships and developing a project with a community organization. At one of our school sites in 2016, 80% of families responded to a school-wide needs assessment. Of the 278 responses, 33% of students identified as having food insecurity within the prior year, 51% of children reportedly drank one or more sugary drinks daily, 25% ate fewer than five servings of fruits/vegetables daily, and parents identified the “biggest barrier to eating healthy” as “I don’t know how.” This survey highlighted the need to address food insecurity and nutrition education to promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.   

In response to the survey findings, middle school classes presented ideas to improve their health behaviors, including the development of a school garden. Residents in collaboration with students and school faculty lead an after-school gardening program. School-based gardening programs have been shown to increase healthy food consumption and nutritional knowledge among children. Our project will focus on developing a sustainable, peer-ambassador nutrition behavior curriculum and implementing training among interested students to broaden the reach of an existing after school gardening program to promote positive nutrition behavioral changes for the school community at large.


Meet the project leaders:

Vanessa Boshuizen, MD is in her third year of pediatric residency at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. She graduated from University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, OK and will be returning to start her career as a community pediatrician in the Fall. 

Xing Wang, MD is finishing her intern year in pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. She graduated from the University of Texas in Houston and has adjusted well to living in East Bay. In her free time she likes to explore new hiking trails and restaurants in the Bay Area. 


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