The Fresh Advantage® team combines years of experience in:
- Nutrition Counseling and Education
- Culinary Arts
- Sourcing and Procurement
- Population Health and Disease Prevention
- Community-based Health Programming
- Hospital Administration and Operations
- Marketing and Communications
- Agricultural and Health Policy and Regulation
Fresh Advantage is ready to guide your organization’s transformation from an ancillary institutional food service to health-promoting “food care”—without increasing costs.
The Fresh Advantage team practices “food care” by developing and delivering strategic operations guidance, custom training, and technical assistance to health care institutions, senior living organizations, and large employers. With “food care”, your organization can improve the health and well-being of all the people you serve.
Marydale DeBor, JD
Founding/Managing Director, Fresh Advantage®
Marydale founded Fresh Advantage in 2011 with the goal of assisting health care organizations, educational institutions and community-based organizations to create integrated food service and learning programs for those they serve. Her approach is based upon principles of sound (basic and simple) nutrition to promote health, environmental responsibility and palate pleasing culinary quality. Marydale combines experience as a lawyer with a policy oriented practice in Washington D.C. in the early years of her career, followed by years of providing advisory services to philanthropies focused on improving health care service delivery that led to a senior executive position at a community hospital in Connecticut. In that role, she led an organization wide transformation of the role of food and nutrition in clinical care and community-based health promotion programs that inspired her to found Fresh Advantage.
Marydale is a lecturer in the School of Medicine at Yale University teaching students in a wide variety of health professional graduate programs on the topic of the role of food in clinical practice and community prevention programs. She regularly presents at national conferences and conducts webinars on the role of food and nutrition in institutions, and the role of hospitals in building healthy communities and food systems.
Marydale worked as Senior Advisor to Health Care Without Harm’s “Delivering community benefit: Healthy food playbook” that supports hospital community benefit professionals and community partners in developing initiatives to promote healthy food access and healthy, local and sustainable food systems.
Meet some of the Fresh Advantage team
Anne works with Fresh Advantage in the development of hospital and community-based food education programs designed for children and young adults, cancer survivors and individuals of low-income living with mental illness. She collaborated with Fresh Advantage founder Marydale DeBor and pediatrician Diane D’Isidori in the creation of the nationally recognized Youth Chef Advocates Program begun in New Milford, Connecticut, in 2007. Anne is a graduate of New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute, which emphasizes health-supportive culinary arts.
Francine Blinten, MS , CCN, CNS
Francine works with Fresh Advantage clients to deliver patient-centered nutrition care to help people of all ages achieve and maintain their health goals. Her primary professional emphases are on metabolic syndrome, cardiometabolic disorders, diabetes, cholesterol control, weight management, and oncology nutrition for all phases of cancer care, including survivorship. In recent work with Fresh Advantage, she has expanded her work to low income individuals living with mental illness.
As part of her mission to educate about the many links between food and health, Francine makes frequent radio and personal speaking appearances.
Francine earned her certification in clinical nutrition from the International and American Association of Clinical Nutrition. She holds an MS in bionutrition from the University of Bridgeport’s Nutrition Institute and an MBA from Fordham University. Her undergraduate marketing degree is from Hofstra University.
Dr. Diane D’Isidori
Dr. Diane D’Isidori, a New Milford pediatrician who founded Candlewood Valley Pediatrics with her husband Dr. Evan Hack in 1988, focuses her efforts on creating and teaching community programs that promote sustainable health and environmental stewardship. She is one of the co-founders of New Milford Hospital’s Plow to Plate coalition and its Youth Chef Advocacy Program, as well as the nationally recognized Sarah Noble School Walking Project. She recently completed a United Way grant-funded initiative on pediatric obesity prevention at CVP. This initiative, Sustainable Health in Pediatrics (SHiP), educates and empowers families to make choices that foster lifelong health and well being. She is a board member of the Pratt Nature Center and active volunteer for the New Milford Food Bank. Dr. D’Isidori lives in New Milford with her husband and sons, Daniel & Gabe.
Rachel Murray, BS, MS
Farmer & Educator
Rachel combines her broad experience in farming and educating young people to provide Fresh Advantage clients with “grown your own food” programs.
As part of her experience in teaching life and work skills to young people, Rachel has provided hands-on guidance to young people in a therapeutic group home and Girl Scouts of all ages in how to plant, weed, and harvest community vegetable gardens and hospital culinary gardens.
As a farmer, Rachel plants, maintains, and harvests fruits, vegetables, berries, and wine grapes. With her farming expertise, she assists Fresh Advantage in providing its clients with blueprint for working with local farmers to obtain the freshest, most nutritious products.
Rachel has a Masters degree in sustainable food systems from Green Mountain College and a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and natural resources from the University of Connecticut.
Professional Chef & Sustainable Food Consultant
Alison is the sole proprietor of Chef Alison Negrin and Associates, a consulting company specializing in transforming institutions into healthy food zones by connecting with local, sustainable food sources and educating about the power of nutrition and healthy eating in menu development and training. She honed her skills as a chef at such noted SF Bay Area restaurants as Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. In her role as executive chef for John Muir Health, Alison was responsible for developing patient and retail cafeteria menus for the three hospital campuses.
Alison was honored with two awards at the 2012 Health Care Without Harm’s CWH FoodMed conference for John Muir Healthcare’s accomplishments in reducing greenhouse gases through increased local, sustainable purchasing. She was also the recipient of the “Women Who Inspire” 2013 Community Service Award from the national organization, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, recognizing her work in bringing healthy and sustainably sourced food to healthcare.
Alison graduated from UC Berkeley with a BFA, California Culinary Academy as a professional chef, and the Bauman Institute of Holistic Nutrition with a certificate in nutrition consulting. She continues her education in programs at Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of America to stay on the cutting edge of nutrition and health.
Carol brings a wide range of experience to assisting clients of Fresh Advantage, particularly independent schools, to develop innovative, holistic solutions to their food service programs—approaches that integrate learning about the relationship of food to health and principles of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Her skills as a chef enable her to provide adaptive learning experiences to “food learning” in the school environment. She is also the mother of three school-age children with a deep commitment to inspiring children to gain a lifelong understanding and appreciation of the value of food in society. Carol earned her MBA and Culinary Certificate from Boston University.
Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NT
“Real Food” Registered Dietitian
Diana is a “real food” dietitian living on a working organic farm. She runs a clinical practice, focusing on helping people recover their intestinal and metabolic health through nutrient-dense, whole foods. She is also a published author of two books on cooking and sustainable food production, hosts the Sustainable Dish podcast, and conducts workshops internationally on nutrition, social justice, animal welfare and food politics. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Edible Boston, Mother Earth News, and Outside Magazine.
Advisory, Working Lands Conservation
Shelby’s experience with The Trust for Public Land, where she managed conservation and land acquisition projects in California’s agriculturally rich central valley, enables her to assist with client projects that involve securing and preserving local food production resources. Shelby holds a Masters degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science where she was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. She graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Economics.
Food Service Operations and Management
Bob Ullrich has over 40 years of experience in food service operations and management, with expertise in every aspect of the business: finance, commercial kitchen design and equipment, procurement and customer service. He assists Fresh Advantage with projects in the independent school sector which is his particular area of interest and expertise.