Food as Health Alliance
Food as Health Alliance

Our People

Our People

Our People

Meet the Team

Alison Gustafson

Alison Gustafson, PhD, MPH, RDN

Program Director

Dr. Gustafson conducts community based interventions focused on improving food access to underserved rural populations. She also focuses on health disparities related to rural and minority populations using mental health interventions and digital technology. Dr. Gustafson founded the Food as Health Alliance to combine the agricultural, medical, and nutrition focused resources at UK in an effort to improve diet related health outcomes across the Commonwealth.

Lauren Batey


Lauren Batey, MS, RDN

Program Coordinator

Lauren Batey is a registered dietitian with a Master's in Nutrition and Food Systems from the University of Kentucky. Her research is focused on culture and nutrition related chronic disease in Appalachia and other geographically isolated rural communities. Lauren joined the Alliance to make use of her marketing background in the creation of community and professional resources promoting food as health.

Christa Mayfield


Christa Mayfield, MS

Research Coordinator

Christa Mayfield has her Master's of Science in Agriculture, Food, & Environment from Tufts' Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy. Her work has focused on improving food and nutrition security through access to federal food programs and building strong community networks. Christa will support the Alliance's research efforts to test, implement, and examine the effectiveness of multiple food as health interventions across the Commonwealth. 

Nancy Cox


Dean Nancy M. Cox, PhD

Dr. Nancy Cox became dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment on Jan.1, 2014. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is one of UK’s four largest undergraduate colleges, consistently ranks second among UK colleges in external funding, and is home to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, with offices in all 120 counties. Cox is a strong believer in the land-grant mission and works extensively with the college’s many partners to promote teaching, research and extension programs. 

Advisory Board

Dr. Mark Evers

Mark Evers, MD, FACS

Director, Markey Cancer Center; Physician in Chief of Oncology

Dr. Nada Porter

Nada Porter, PhD

Chair, Department of Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Nancy Schoenburg

Nancy Schoenberg, PhD

Associate Vice President for Research, Health Disparities

Dr. Simon Fisher

Simon J. Fisher, MD, PhD

Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Acting Director, Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

Dr. Jennifer Hunter

Jennifer Hunter, PhD

Extension Professor & Assistant Director of Family and Consumer Sciences

Dr. Krista Jacobsen

Krista Jacobsen, PhD

Director of the Sustainable Agriculture and Community Food Systems program

Dr. Charles Griffith

Charles H. Griffith, MD, MSPH, FACP

Dean of the College of Medicine

Dr. Tammy Stephenson

Tammy Stephenson. PhD, FAND

Department Chair, Dietetics and Human Nutrition

Dr. Martha Biddle

Martha Biddle PhD, APRN, CCNS, FAHA

Associate Professor College of Nursing, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist

Dr. Sarah Police

Sara B. Police, PhD

Assistant Professor, Director, Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine

Maggie Murphy

Margaret O. Murphy, PhD, RD, LD

Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, Pediatrics

Kristen Stakelin

Kristen Stakelin, MD, MLDE, CDCES

Associate Chief Medical Officer for Specialty Ambulatory Services Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

Dr. Heather Bush

Heather M. Bush, PhD

Professor, Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, Co-Director, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Core

Dr. Teresa Waters

Teresa Meyers Waters, PhD

Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy, Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Surendranath Suman

Surendranath Suman, PhD

Professor of Meat Science, Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Dr. April Hatcher

April Richardson Hatcher, PhD

Associate Professor, College of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Rajeev Darolia

Rajeev Darolia, PhD

Associate Director of Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, Associate Director of the UK Center for Poverty Research, Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Trudi Matthews

Trudi Matthews

Senior Director of Quality and Value Strategy in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, UK HealthCare

Dr. Gregg Rentfrow

Gregg Rentfrow, PhD

Associate Extension Professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Dr. John Bauer

John Bauer, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics at University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Ashley Smith

Alison Smith

Retail and Foodservice Director for the Beef Council

Kylie Trail

Kylie Trail

Brand Management Director for the Beef Council

Katie McDonald

Katie Goodin

Manager of the No Kid Hungry Kentucky campaign at Feeding Kentucky

Cassidy Wheeler

Cassidy Wheeler

Advocacy Coordinator at Feeding Kentucky

Danielle Franklin Harmon

Danielle Franklin Harmon

Community Outreach Manager of the Big Sandy region of Appalachian Regional Healthcare

Martin Richards

Martin Richards

Executive Director at Community Farm Alliance

Nikki Whittaker

Nikki Whittaker

Kentucky Cattlemen's Association Membership Coordinator

External Partners


Kentucky Association of Health Plans

Instacart health logo


University of Louisville Logo

University of Louisville

ARH Logo

Appalachian Regional Healthcare

Door dash logo


Food City logo

Food City

KY Feeding America logo

KY Feeding America

KY Beef Council logo

KY Beef Council

KY Department for Aging and Independent Living logo

KY Department for Aging and Independent Living

CFA Logo

Community Farm Alliance

God's Pantry logo

God's Pantry

Dare to Care logo

Dare to Care Food Bank

Foodchain Logo

Foodchain Lexington

Share Our Strength logo

Share Our Strength

Connect With Us

Alliance logo

308 Funkhouser Building
Lexington, KY 40506


Alison Gustafson

Program Director

Contact Alison Gustafson

Christa Mayfield

Research Coordinator

Contact Christa Mayfield

Lauren Batey

Program Coordinator
Contact Lauren Batey

Contact Information

Dr. Alison Gustafson, Ph.D.

206G Funkhouser Building Lexington, KY 40506

(859) 257-3707