ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

Strategic Initiative Brief: Nutrition and Health Vision


The UCANR Strategic Initiatives offer a home for strategic thought - drawing on members of the wider UC ANR community and beyond to 1) help people connect and 2) to help them identify and address issues of current and emerging importance. 

Nutrition and health vision takes shape 

Want to provide input on creating our UC ANR vision for health? Contact Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, who is facilitating the effort, at  

Why are we looking at our health vision now?  

1.    There are resources to do this now

  • “People like to fund winners.” The increase in state funds means others are interested in supporting our work - that includes building on our current health efforts. It's an opportunity to leverage that state funding.
  • Due to COVID, there is more awareness of physical and emotional health needs. The increased awareness will lead to more resources available to address health needs (federal, state, NGO, donor resources).

2.     There is a need

  • The health needs across California are immense, and growing
  • Health spans the lifecycle and is a component of all of our program areas (social, emotional, physical health)
  • Farmer stress, positive youth development, diabetes prevention, aging demographics

3.     We are the right partner to contribute to meeting needs

  • We already do a lot in the area of health. We just haven't tended to use “health” to describe our work, even though we talk about “Healthy Californians” and we have a public-value statement related to health: “Promoting healthy people and communities.”
  • We already play a role. So we want people to imagine how new capacity in UC ANR could make a difference in addressing unmet needs. What more might we do with expanded capacity?
  • These efforts would utilize new capacity without reducing capacity in existing areas. It would build on existing areas.

4.     It's a window that won't stay open forever and will increase overall awareness of UC ANR

  • There is increased national dialogue on workforce development and health in the world of Extension. That means a window of opportunity. We should be ready with ideas and capacity to leap at opportunities before the funding is distributed elsewhere.
  • Activity in non-traditional health areas for UC ANR will increase awareness of all of our program areas. Such awareness has spillover effects thereby “lifting all boats.”

For more on the SIs and their activities, contact

Jim Farrar: Pests (EIPD)

OPEN: Natural Ecosystems (SNE) (Let us know if you are interested in making sure SNE has a voice)

David Lewis: (Water)

Deanne Meyer: Food Systems (SFS)

Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty: Families and Communities (HFC)

Mark Bell: Vice Provost (Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs)


Posted on Friday, August 27, 2021 at 9:28 PM
  • Author: Mark Bell

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