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Community Nutrition and Health

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Dr. Zaw Wai Htoo 
Community Nutrition and Health Advisor 
Marin, Napa, and Sonoma Counties 
Email: zhtoo@ucanr.edu 

The Community Nutrition and Health Program is dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults. By focusing on the unique needs of our aging population, this program strives to improve quality of life and extend health span.

Research and engagement with community members and partners will be implemented to:

  • Promote quality of life and extended health span for older adults through comprehensive health and nutrition education, consultations, and community-based interventions. 
  • Empower individuals, their caregivers and older adult serving communities with the necessary knowledge and resources to help manage health challenges effectively and live fulfilling lives.

Program focus area include: 

  • Whole Health Integration: Recognizing that true wellness encompasses physical health and mental and social well-being, program endeavors in this area will utilize a holistic approach aimed to enhance each aspect of an individual's life that contribute to sustained well-being and improved quality of life. 
  • Living Well with Chronic Medical Conditions: Living well despite chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory diseases is a core focus. Program offerings will offer tools and resources to successfully manage these disease conditions through lifestyle modifications, experiential learning, and informed health choices. This includes providing disease-specific health and nutritional education and guiding support to help manage symptoms and potentially reduce treatment dependency. 
  • Preventing Malnutrition: Addressing and preventing malnutrition is crucial for maintaining health in older adults, who may be more vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies. The program helps the participants understand fundamental nutrition and equips them with nutritional evaluations to meet specific nutritional needs and sustain well nourishment.
  • Promoting Quality of Life and Health Span: Program initiatives will focus on enhancing daily living through prevention, wellness activities, and active community engagement. Through workshops and other engagement, the program will cover various topics from healthy eating to stress management, equipping older adults with the knowledge and skills needed to lead fulfilling lives. We also will be resource for through community engagement and policy advocacy for the creation of healthy aging environments. 

I am always ready to explore partnerships that can expand and enhance achieving shared goals for older adult nutrition and health through strong relationships with local agencies, community groups, and healthcare providers. I am also committed to understanding the unique needs of the older adult community in the North San Francisco Bay region and welcome site visits to local organizations and community centers. These visits are crucial for steering the program’s approach to best fit the community’s needs. I look forward to working with you and our community in the journey to better health and well-being. 

Get Involved:  

All are welcome and encouraged – older adults, caregivers, and health professionals- to engage with the program. Participating in workshops, volunteering, or advocating for policy changes can impact the lives of many and contribute to a healthier community. 

  • Volunteer: Join us to help facilitate sessions or assist in community outreach. 
  • Attend Workshops: Enroll in classes and workshops designed to improve health and well-being. 
  • Advocate: Help us spread the word about the importance of senior health and nutrition in the community or lend your voice to advocate for policies that support older adults.