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Vote for This Hunger Fighter to Become the 2016 Philly Health Hero

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Update 10/26: Hans Kersten, MD, has made it to the final round of the Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge! That means he is one of four finalists in the competition and is guaranteed to receive at least a $2,500 donation to the charity of his choice — the Legal Clinic for the Disabled. With your votes, he could be named the 2016 Health Hero and receive a $10,000 donation. You can vote once every 24 hours at the challenge website. Watch Philadelphia magazine’s video profile above to learn more about how hospitals are uniquely positioned to fight hunger and how his chosen charity can help.

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September 26, 2016

Today is your final day to vote for a Drexel University professor to become Philadelphia magazine’s 2016 Health Hero.

Philadelphia magazine editors received more than 600 nominations this year for “health heroes” — from physicians and nonprofit leaders to fitness coaches — who are making the Philadelphia area a healthier and happier place to live.

Now, Hans Kersten, MD, a professor in the College of Medicine and pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, is one of 16 semifinalists in the challenge. If he receives enough votes, then he will go on to the finals in October. The person named the 2016 Health Hero will receive a $10,000 donation to be made to the charity of his or her choice.

In 2011, 22 percent of Philadelphia children were food insecure, according to data from Feeding America. Research shows that children who lack access to nutritious meals are more likely to suffer from disease, have cognitive development issues and experience behavioral problems.

That is why Kersten is fighting to make the city “hunger-free.”

Kersten was instrumental in developing the Hunger-free Healthcare model at St. Christopher’s seven years ago, which continues to grow today. Through this model, health care professionals screen for food insecurity throughout the hospital, provide resources to families and organize food drives. Kersten has also led programs at the hospital to improve fresh food access, including FreshRX, in which providers write prescriptions for boxes of food.

“Having the opportunity to implement the Hunger-free Healthcare model is a powerful motivator to impact the health of a larger community by improving social, economic and environmental factors that influence patients’ and families’ health and well-being,” Kersten said in his interview with Philadelphia magazine.

To vote for Kersten, visit the Health Hero Challenge website by Sept. 26.

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