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Symbol of HOPE Award



Dr. Slusser is Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Co-Founder and Medical Director of the UCLA Fit for Healthy Weight program, Founder and Co- director of the Community Health and Advocacy Pediatric Residency Training Program, and directs the Simms Mann Venice Family Clinic Pediatric Health and Wellness program. Dr. Slusser graduated Cum Laude from Princeton University, received her Medical Degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and her Masters Degree in Science from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics at Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC.  Dr. Slusser joined the UCLA faculty in 1995 and over the past 15 years has been a leader in community, school, clinic, and family based programs related to health promotion, infant and child nutrition and physical fitness.  She is currently the Principal Investigator on the Prevention of Childhood Overweight through Parent Training Intervention Project focused on low-income preschool children and their parents; the Principal Investigator on the Fit for Residents Curriculum development and pilot testing project in collaboration with AAP and AAFP; Co-principal Investigator for the evaluation of the Nutrition Network Los Angeles Unified School District Project. Previous research included positions as principal investigator on the Fruit and Vegetable Bar Intervention study to promote fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income elementary school children; co-investigator on the development of the Nutrition Friendly School criteria; and as Principal Investigator completed an evaluation of the CIGNA Corporations National program called "Working Well Mom”. Her leadership positions have included the conception and implementation of the National Breastfeeding Policy Conference that pulled together over 100 national leaders from different sectors and formulated a series of breastfeeding policy recommendations.  This policy conference triggered the preparation of the Surgeon General’s “HHS Blue Print for Action  on Breastfeeding, “ and provided the framework for the US National Breastfeeding Committee’s Strategic Plan.  Dr. Slusser has also provided technical assistance at a local level to LAUSD policy makers, at the California State level to First Lady Maria Shriver, at a National level to USDA and National Cancer Institute, and at an International level in Africa and Latin America regarding improving pediatric nutrition and physical fitness. She was recently nominated and selected to be a member of the Institute of Medicine committee called Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children, and invited to participate in a one-day meeting at NICHD focused on the Contextual Influences on Women’s Breastfeeding Decision-Making Processes. Dr. Slusser is Board Certified in Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and practices and teaches General Pediatrics and health promotion at the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the US. Her research and expertise have been featured in Los Angeles Times, Jim Leher News Hour, Boston Globe, NPR Morning Edition, and Child Magazine; and, she was honored with the Beverllee Myers Award of Excellence in 2008, which is awarded each year to an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership and accomplishments in public health in California.