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Checkoff Engages Pennsylvania Family Physicians
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 03/14/2019

The national Beef Checkoff welcomed the opportunity to engage, on a local level, with the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), helping sponsor their Annual Spring Meeting and CME Conference in historic Gettysburg.

The three-day educational event drew more than 200 family physicians, residents and students from across the commonwealth, allowing the checkoff to engage directly with this influential group of health care professionals to share the positive benefits of beef. On site, staff highlighted the importance of beef as a food for strength by sharing the latest research where beef is included in the Mediterranean Diet, the Beef WISE study and others. The new American Heart Association Heart Check-approved recipes and fact sheets were also shared with attendees.

To actively demonstrate Beef as a Food for Strength, the beef booth featured an interactive Beef Jerky Trail Mix Bar where attendees added mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit into a bag of beef jerky, creating a delicious snack. Along with the trail mix bar, the Beef Checkoff garnered more than 100 on-site engagements through an educational survey, conversations about patient concerns and sharing the latest research, recipes, nutrition tips and more.

Of those engaging with the beef booth through an on-site survey, 80% polled had a positive opinion of beef and 20% had a neutral opinion of beef. No negative opinions of beef were observed, and most attendees were thankful for the Beef Checkoff's sponsorship. When talking with physicians and discussing the concerns from their patients, some topics of interest were learning cuts of lean beef to incorporate into a healthy diet, understanding beef's nutritional profile and discovering beef's versatility when it comes to meal planning and portion control.

After engaging with the beef booth Rohin Saroya, MD, of Drexel University College of Medicine, commented, "Nutrition is essential to a healthy lifestyle and I enjoy working with patients to meet their current nutritional needs and weight management goals. Beef can play a key role in meeting these needs by discussing lean beef cut options and correct portion sizes."

Additional physician engagements included a strolling reception on Friday, March 8, featuring a bite-sized Pretzel Wrapped Beef Hotdog with Whole Grain Mustard and the 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off, hosted during lunch on March 9. The Chili Cook-off has become a big hit among the physicians and a friendly competition among the exhibitors. Conference attendees were able to sample and vote on their favorite chili. Seven companies participated in the cook-off, submitting recipes like "Sweet Heat," a mix of sweet and spicy beef chili from Patient First and the reigning champion from last year, "Pap Pap's Chili" from Geisinger. Joanne Hegarty of Health Network Laboratories was crowned the 2019 Chili Cook-Off Champion with her "Tex Mex Chili" and Katie Maringer of Otsuka was voted as the cook-off runner-up with "Katie's Chili."

The Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians currently works on behalf of 5,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and students as a professional member-driven association. The Beef Checkoff is thankful for the continued partnership with PAFP and opportunities to build beef demand with their members. The partnership is made possible by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff and the Iowa Beef Council.

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