Can Cooking Classes Keep Chronic Heart Failure Patients Out Of The Hospital?

At Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, researchers are teaching heart disease sufferers what makes a healthy meal — and how to cook one. The program will monitor how this affects readmission rates.
Leah Sarris (center) is the head chef and program director at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. She teaches healthy cooking techniques and educates people about the significant role that food plays in preventing and managing diseases. Source: Paula Burch-Celentano | Tulane U

Shirline Burbanks is one of the 6.5 million Americans suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF). Recently, she checked herself in to the Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, complaining of shortness of breath. But unlike most other CHF patients in the U.S., within hours of her admittance, Burbanks was met at her bedside with an offer: to sign up for cooking classes.

The offer came from Colleen McCullough, a research coordinator at the at Tulane. She started working last August to recruit people for the pilot phase of an 18-month study. Its goal is to determine whether the 30-day readmission rate for CHF patients, which is

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