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1280 E. Stringham Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

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Treating & Preventing Chronic Illness with Healthy Food

The Culinary Medicine Program can help you treat and prevent chronic illness through preparing and eating healthy food. You can learn how to prepare food to treat your specific condition.

This is not just a cooking class, it is a medical appointment with a physician provider and a dietician that will bridge the gap between the dietary advice you read and when you sit down at the dining table. Our goal is to teach you practical kitchen skills to improve your diet. 

While weight loss is not the objective of this visit series, many patients find that they are able more easily maintain a healthy weight when following a whole foods plant-based diet.

The program is a set of three shared medical appointments (SMA). Up to 16 patients attend these appointments together. You will be paired at a table and share cooking equipment. We will help you improve your diet by increasing the quantity of whole, plant-forward foods you eat each day. 

Shared Medical Appointments

A shared medical appointment (SMA) is a group visit with a doctor. Providers see multiple patients at the same time. When you attend a group visit, we will ask you to sign a privacy agreement. 

Person cutting up vegetables on a cutting board

As a patient in a group visit, you can share as much or as little about your condition as you please. The health care providers will talk about chronic conditions in the group, but never point out who has them. 

Location, Time, & Date

Each group will meet for three sessions, every other week for six weeks. Appointments are at the Sugar House Health Center in the Wasatch Conference Room (third floor) on Tuesday nights from 5–7 pm.  

You may have household members enroll with you in a session in order to cook as partners, or you may bring household members as a guest to observe. 

What Is Culinary Medicine?

Culinary medicine is a whole-patient approach to chronic illness through preparing and eating healthy food. Using the latest evidence on health and nutrition, culinary medicine blends the art of food preparation and the science of medicine. The goal is not just to understand how to eat more healthfully, but to learn these things: 

  • What to eat
  • How to prepare food
  • How to develop new habits tailored to you and your specific conditions or health concerns

Culinary medicine is used alongside other treatment techniques to help you live your best life.

What Kind of Food Do You Cook?

At each visit, providers promote a whole food, plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet. You will learn the skills to prepare quick, convenient meals from unprocessed foods. These food choices can help in manage chronic conditions like the following:

Billing and Insurance Coverage

How to Qualify for a SMA

This appointment is billed as an office visit. Any patient with a chronic condition that could improve by changes in eating habits should qualify. 

Many other conditions may qualify you to participate.  If you wish to receive counseling on a specific condition, please let your referring provider know, or email us at to request more information.

Scheduling a SMA

You can ask your provider or doctor to put in a referral for you. You can also refer yourself by emailing Once we get your information, someone will call you to schedule your appointment.  

Insurance Coverage

The visits are billed as a regular office visit, usually costing you the amount of your copay or co-insurance. Actual cost per visit may vary depending on your individual insurance plan copays and whether or not you’ve met your deductible for the year. 

For Referring Providers

Referring Patients

Referrals are done through Epic. Once you have signed into Epic, find the the “Referral to Wellness” section and mark the checkbox for “Culinary Medicine.”  This referral queue will be worked by our MA during Tuesday night classes and patients can expect to receive a call to schedule within a week of referral.   

Insurance Coverage

These visits are billed as a regular office visit, using standard E&M billing codes, under the name of the physician leading the visit. As long as a regular office visit with the physician leading the group would be covered, the visit should be billable to insurance.  

The actual cost per visit may vary by patient depending on their individual insurance plan copays and whether or not they’ve met their deductible for the year.   

Which Patients Qualify?

Because the visit is billed as an office visit, any patient with a chronic illness that has been shown to benefit from dietary modification should qualify. 

Prior to the first visit, the physician leader assigned to that patient’s cohort will do a chart review to identify appropriate conditions on the patient’s problem list. If you wish to draw attention to the condition under which you feel the patient would benefit, please list this in the comments section of the wellness referral.  

Complimentary Services

To make your appointment more convenient, we also offer:

  • free Wi-Fi,
  • an on-site pharmacy,
  • free child care during your appointment, and
  • a comfortable lobby with electrical outlets in the furniture so you can charge your device.

Free Child Care

Child care issues should never prevent you from getting to the doctor and getting the health care you need. We offer free child care for patients during their appointment.

Integrative Health and Well Being Services

  • Fitness programs
  • Prediabetes programs
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General Dietitian Services

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