Sustainable Operations Series: Lessons From The Farm At St. Joe's

This is a rebroadcasting of the webinar conducted on 10/21/14 but featuring live Q&A with presenters

Session Description

Leaders from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System will share their story, which includes The Farm at St. Joe's, a 364-acre farm and educational experience on the grounds of St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, MI, where organic planting methods provide patients, staff, volunteers and visitors an experiential way to understand the link between fresh air, exercise, fresh food, good nutrition and good health. The Farm's innovative approach to healing and wellness has garnered The Catholic Health Association's 2013 Achievement Citation. In this presentation, the staff behind the creation and management of the farm will share some of the lessons they've learned and insights into how other health care organizations can take what they've learned and adapt it for their own organization, how to generate support for environmental projects, how to find community partners and more. This presentation will help attendees to gain a national and local perspective on food and health connections and successful practices from a health facility that has implemented several programs and practices related to this issue.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn about the history and the creation of The Farm at St. Joe's.
  • To learn about the connections of a farm operation to health and nutrition.
  • To learn about the day-to-day operations of The Farm at St. Joe's.


Dave Raymond, Director of Planning and Design, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Dave Raymond is the director of planning and design at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. In this role, he oversees planning and design of new hospitals, outpatient facilities as well as renovations within these type of facilities for Trinity Health in the Southeast Michigan Region.

He has been involved in community development for the past 12 years with youth in Michigan and Mexico, developing workshops and hands-on experiences for youth to serve communities in need. He also currently works with World Vision U.S. and Mexico for the care of children. In addition, he serves on the board of the IHN Homeless shelter for families in need within Washtenaw County, Mich. He also currently oversees "The Farm at St. Joe's," developing community awareness for nutrition and stewardship of resources.

Mr. Raymond graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in business administration and he is a licensed builder in the state of Michigan.

Daniel Bair, Project Manager, The Farm at St. Joe's, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Dan Bair is the director of hospital farming at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital's "The Farm at St. Joe's", a 23 acre farm on the campus of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. This innovative program works with patients, staff and the community to strengthen the connections between a healthy diet, exercise and health. Dan helped establish The Farm at St. Joe's, on the campus of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, in 2010.

Mr. Bair graduated from University of Michigan in 2004 with a bachelor of general studies focusing on urban and environmental studies. He first participated in growing vegetables in an area larger than a pot during the summer of 2002 while living and volunteering in Detroit with Detroit Summer. His urban farming experience in Detroit opened the door to a position in 2006 assisting with the Chicago Botanic Garden's Green Youth Farm, a small farm on Chicago's west side, run by youth who market the produce at a neighborhood farmer's market. From there he went on to complete Michigan State University's Organic Farming Certificate Program in 2007 and he's been farming and marketing up and down Michigan, in the country, the city and suburbs ever since.

Lisa McDowell, MS, RD, CNSD, Manager of Clinical Nutrition, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Lisa McDowell, MS, RD, CSSD, is the manager of clinical nutrition at St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich. In April 2010, she helped start a 25-acre organic farm on the campus of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital to help improve the food served to patients and employees.

She has been a clinical dietitian for over 20 years and enjoys integrating farm fresh produce into nutrition care plans to optimize healing. Her efforts were recognized by Crain's Detroit and she was named a health care hero for her work to fight obesity and improve access to fresh food. She also received the clinical engagement award at the 2011 FoodMed conference and was recognized as the Michigan Dietitian of the year.

In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she works with Olympic athletes and is the team dietitian for the Detroit Red Wings. She has a passion for fresh, functional food and enjoys sharing her knowledge with patients as well as athletes to improve overall health, quality of life and performance.

Laura Meisler, Program Manager, The Farm at St. Joe’s, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Laura Meisler is the Program Manager for the Farm at St. Joe's, coordinating administrative and educational activities. Her background is in children's museum and outdoor environmental education, marketing and organic farming. She also serves on the planning teams for Ann Arbor's Farm to School Collaborative and the annual HomeGrown Festival.


Member: $0 Non-member: $0


Sustainable Operations Series: Lessons From The Farm At St. Joe's
60 Minutes Live event: 01/13/2015 at 2:00 PM (EST) You must register to access.