About Us

Executive Board

photo of Rachel Atcheson

Rachel Atcheson

At-Large Director

Brooklyn Borough
President's Office

photo of Elizabeth Helzner

Elizabeth Helzner

Committee Chair

SUNY Downstate
School of Public Health

photo of Richard M. Rosenfeld

Richard M. Rosenfeld

Committee Vice-Chair

SUNY Downstate
College of Medicine


Committee Charge
Updated August 2018

The agreed upon charge of the SUNY Downstate Ad Hoc Committee on Plant-based Nutrition and Health is to promote awareness of the health benefits of plant-based nutrition, provide a forum for multidisciplinary interaction, and to discuss ways to integrate plant-based health into resident training, medical student education, and the overall culture at SUNY Downstate.

  1. Assemble a multidisciplinary committee with an interest in, and passion for, plant-based nutrition, which represents the following stakeholders: physicians, nurses, dieticians, food service managers, administrators, medical educators, public health advocates, resident physicians, and medical students
  2. Prepare educational resources on plant-based nutrition and health, using current evidence in peer-reviewed medical journals, to summarize relevance to the Brooklyn community and serve as a basis for other materials (position statements, evidence-summaries, brochures, website content, fact sheets, etc.)
  3. Serve in an academic advisory capacity to plant-based initiatives spearheaded by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, with regards to facts, research studies, and general information on plant-based nutrition and health
  4. Enhance awareness of plant-based health in the Downstate community through initiatives with the School of Medicine (and medical students), Graduate Medical Education Committee (and resident physicians in training), Medical Executive Committee (and University Hospital of Brooklyn medical staff), and the Food Service (and cafeteria employees)
  5. Plan lectures, meetings, health fairs, and other venues in conjunction with Downstate and the Borough President’s office to promote understanding and awareness of plant-based health and nutrition
  6. Promote and conduct research into issues regarding plant-based health and nutrition in the Brooklyn Community
  7. Facilitate outreach and implementation of plant-based nutrition through educational resources, community-based programs, mentors/coaches, and support/discussion groups
  8. Engage students from the schools of medicine, nursing, public health, and health-related professions in plant-based outreach and educational efforts