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the power of nutrition & epigenetics to end

chronic disease

Presentation Language: English

Interpretation Available from English to Spanish


The science of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and epigenetics illuminates what many communities have long understood through lived experience – that our risk for chronic disease is not a result of poor lifestyle choices or bad genes, but is instead a result of the environment in which we are born and live. Latinx communities have observed firsthand the changes in intergenerational health as younger groups have moved away from traditional diets rich in healthy proteins and vegetables to a “westernized” high calorie, low nutrient diet. The results have been an increased risk for chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The OHSU Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness is developing the Nutrition Oregon Campaign, a statewide nutrition education and outreach collaborative program grounded in the science of DOHaD and epigenetics. The vision of the campaign is to utilize the power of nutrition to end chronic disease in Oregon. We know that to be successful, we must prioritize work with communities facing multiple compounding health disparities. This session will engage participants in recognizing how they see themselves in the work, how it can be useful to their communities and what support and resources are necessary to play an active role in utilizing this information to support Latinx community health. We will utilize popular education methods to build on what the group already understands as a result of lived experience, to critically reflect on this knowledge and to develop methods for translating this knowledge into action to address Latinx community health utilizing nutrition as a foundation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Objective 1:

    • Identify opportunities and barriers to utilizing information about the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and epigenetics in improving the health of Latinx communities.

  • Objective 2:​

    • ​Articulate how nutrition can serve as a foundation for building healthy communities and addressing health inequities.

  • Objective 3:​

    • ​Develop personal, organizational and community interest in interacting with the Nutrition Oregon Campaign.   


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monica cuneo, mph

Nutrition Oregon Campaign, Monica Cuneo Consulting

Monica Cuneo, MPH, is a consultant with fifteen years of content specific work related to several public health topics, issues related to the social determinants of health, and collaborative and systems approaches to community change. Monica has worked at the community, statewide and regional levels, collaborating with diverse stakeholders in urban and rural environments as well as multiple settings including pre K-12 education, universities, government, community based organizations, business, and health care. She is currently the project director of the Nutrition Oregon Campaign at the OHSU Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness.


sandra hernandes, ph.d., m.ed.

Doulas Latinas International

Sandra is a Critical Educator and Theatre of the Oppressed Joker who has performed nationally and internationally in countries such as Canada, Germany, South Africa, United States and Brazil, with emphasis on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and immigration, race, gender, health and economic justice. Her work and research with Latino communities is focused to chronic diseases and epigenetics. Sandra has created the Doulas Latinas International to train culturally and linguistically doulas to serve low income Latino pregnant mothers and families.  

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lynn knox

Statewide Health Care Liasion, Oregon Food Bank

Lynn Knox is the Statewide Health Care Liaison at Oregon Food Bank. Her career has been focused on social justice and equity, poverty reduction, community development and health prevention. She has been able to advance these missions through work in government, non-profits, running her own small training and consulting business and community volunteer activities. Knox is currently serving as part of the OHSU Moore Institute's Nutrition Oregon Campaign Core Collaborators Committee.


Edna nyamu

Deputy Director, Oregon Community Health Workers Association (ORCHWA)

Edna received her Master of Science in Global Health at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) from Portland, Oregon. She is also a certified Community Health Worker (CHW) by the State of Oregon, and a member of the Traditional Health worker (THW) Commission under Oregon Health Authority/ Office of Equity and Inclusion. Edna speaks three languages, Swahili, Maasai, and English, and does Swahili language interpretation. She has a deep understanding of cross-cultural practice and has years of experience working closely with immigrants, refugees, and people of color.

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