Philadelphia, PA, January 10, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Hans Kersten, MD, physician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, recently received the Pat Temple-West Award from the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. Dr. Kersten was presented with the award during the 2014 Hunger Fighter Awards at the City Line Hilton in Philadelphia.
The Pat Temple-West Award honors a person who is using “innovative efforts toward building a hunger-free community,” according to hungercoalition.org. This is the first time that Dr. Kersten is receiving the prestigious award. It is named in honor of the founding director of Nutritional Development Services, the late Pat Temple-West, who was the driving force behind many anti-hunger programs in Philadelphia, including the Coalition, SHARE and Philadelphia Food Bank.
Dr. Kersten was recognized for his hard work around food insecurity screening and his dedication to St. Christopher’s efforts to fight hunger in the community, including the Farms to Families program, food drives, and providing patients access to a variety of resources.
“At St. Christopher’s, we work as a team to address hunger and implement creative, cutting-edge initiatives that help fight food insecurity,” says Dr. Kersten. “We have been able to achieve a great amount of success through our many programs and I’m honored to be recognized for being a part of that.”
Dr. Kersten was one of the early adopters of the FreshRx program at St. Christopher’s. FreshRX is an extension of a successful Farm to Families food share system launched in 2010 by nonprofit St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children. The goal behind the program is to make healthy farm-fresh food available and affordable in Philadelphia year-round.
In addition, Dr. Kersten was instrumental in bringing the WIC Clinic back to St. Christopher’s, which is now located in the new Center for the Urban Child, and provides women and children with healthy foods and nutritional counseling.
Recognizing that the holidays are one of the hardest times for some families, Dr. Kersten also spearheads the annual Turkey Dinner Drive at the hospital. Each fall, St. Chris’ employees raise money through November to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for families at the hospital.
The meals, which include enough food to feed a family, are distributed the day before Thanksgiving at the hospital. In the five years since the drive’s inception, St. Chris has provided meals to 1,600 families at Thanksgiving time.
Another hospital-wide food drive that Dr. Kersten is heavily involved is the cereal drive, which is a national competition to raise servings of cereal for children. St. Christopher’s participated in 2014 for the first time and raised an impressive 130,000 servings of cereal, which benefited Philabundance. Dr. Kersten and his peers hope to beat that number in 2015. For more information in the 2015 cereal drive and how to help as a community member, please contact SCHCemail@example.com
“Dr. Kersten is very deserving of this incredible award,” says Carolyn Jackson, CEO at St. Christopher’s. “He is at the forefront of improvements in healthcare through the initiatives he is implementing at St. Chris. He is truly an inspiration in helping our team work to develop a hunger-free community.”
Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Kersten received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed a residency at St. Christopher’s, followed by a fellowship at Michigan State University in Michigan. Dr. Kersten is the medical director of the Grow Clinic at St. Christopher’s, an outpatient clinic that evaluates children who are underweight or are diagnosed with Failure to Thrive (FTT).
While this is the first time he is receiving the Pat Temple-West Award, Dr. Kersten has gained local and national attention for his efforts to fight hunger in Philadelphia, particularly for his work with Farms to Families.