Lifestyle Medicine at Spectrum Health to Launch at Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Spectrum Health moves into teaching kitchen space to expand culinary medicine programming and open a lifestyle medicine specialty practice

Nearly half of American adults have at least one chronic disease, said Leanne Mauriello, PhD, a health psychologist for Spectrum Health. (Taylor Ballek | Spectrum Health Beat)

March 2, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. March 2, 2020 – Spectrum Health is excited to move into the Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s teaching kitchen. The second-floor space will continue to be used for culinary medicine classes and will become the future home of a Spectrum Health specialty practice that will focus on lifestyle medicine.

Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach which empowers people to replace unhealthy behaviors with positive ones to prevent, treat and often reverse chronic disease. The practice will be led by physicians certified in lifestyle medicine through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

“Spectrum Health is excited to be one of the first health systems in the state to offer programming like this,” said Leanne Mauriello, PhD, Spectrum Health director of lifestyle medicine. “The Downtown Market has been an incredible partner. Expanding our physical presence in the market’s teaching kitchen will be key to our ability to continue to grow and innovate lifestyle and culinary medicine programming for our patients and the community.”

Spectrum Health has utilized the Market’s teaching kitchen for its culinary medicine program since 2017, and this new partnership expands the culinary medicine program’s access to the 3,400 sq. ft. kitchen space, offering the ability to increase offerings in the popular program.

Lifestyle medicine at Spectrum Health will soon offer individual and group consultations at the Downtown Market to help guide and partner with patients to better manage their chronic disease and improve their health using a lifestyle first approach.  Ongoing support and consultation will be provided by registered dietitians and health coaches.

Launching a culinary medicine program was a vision of the Downtown Market before the Market opened in 2012, and a topic of discussion with Michigan State College of Human Medicine and Spectrum Health leaders. The first culinary medicine class at the Market was hosted by MSU Extension in partnership with MSU College of Human Medicine in 2015. In the following years, culinary medicine classes were offered in partnership with Spectrum Health, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and the Downtown Market.

“Our commitment to creating dynamic food-centered experiences and improving the health and economy of our community through education and entrepreneurship fits seamlessly with Spectrum Health’s culinary medicine curriculum,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market. “Our teams are both working to impact the way people think about food and community health. We look forward to continued partnership through nutrition-focused events and programming, beginning with our Health and Wellness Weekend in March, featuring cooking demos by the culinary medicine team.”

Spectrum Health’s current Culinary Medicine Community Cooking classes include Intro to Plant-Based Eating, Heart Healthy Food Resolutions, Plant-Based Cooking in a Hurry, Brain Health and Bone and Joint Health, with additional classes in the works.

Spectrum Health is thankful for support from the Michigan Health Endowment Foundation (MHEF) for significant support that helped launch the current Family Kitchen Rx program which is focused on increasing quality of community health through hands-on, food as medicine education for children and their families.  The culinary medicine program was initially launched with a focus on educating healthcare professionals, including doctors in training, and has maintained this as a core feature of programming. The lease agreement with the Downtown Market will allow Spectrum Health to considerably grow their community class offerings.

The Downtown Market will continue to host its popular public cooking classes in the Teaching Kitchen, while expanding its programming with a new series of workshop classes in the Incubator Kitchen. Private culinary experiences, which are customized cooking classes for groups such as corporate teambuilding events or social gatherings, will also be moved to the Market’s Incubator Kitchen.

More information on Spectrum Health’s Lifestyle Medicine and Culinary Medicine program is available online. See a full 2020 Downtown Market calendar of public classes online as well.

About the Grand Rapids Downtown Market

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is the region’s new choice for fresh, delicious foods and amazing public market merchants. The Market is a $30 million, self-sustaining, LEED-certified, mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods and growing. It incorporates entrepreneur and experimentation space for both emerging and experienced food artisans and merchants including a 24-vendor Market Hall, two full-service restaurants. More at

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.

Rick Jensen
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.5291
Mobile: 616.706.2608