Josiemer Mattei

Josiemer Mattei
Location: Boston, Massachusetts Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Education, Food Systems and Nutrition, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Immigrants and Refugees, Low-Income Communities, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories
Associate Professor
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Josiemer focuses on translating research on diet, psychosocial factors, and health among Latin@s into tailored messages and programs for chronic disease prevention in this population.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Puerto Rico Alianza Para Alimentacion Saludable (Alliance for Healthy Eating)
The quality of the food consumed in Puerto Rico is generally low, despite available local produce and healthy, culturally acceptable food choices. This poor diet quality contributes to a disparately high prevalence of chronic diseases in the general population. While several stakeholders have achieved some success in creating programs that improve access to healthy, culturally appropriate, and affordable foods, their efforts are fragmented and uncoordinated, limiting reach and impact. My strategic initiative will leverage current partnerships centered around PROSPECT, a large research project in Puerto Rico, to create “Alianza Para Alimentacion Saludable (ALAS) para Puerto Rico” (“Alliance for Healthy Eating”). ALAS will unite multi sector stakeholders across the food system to develop a shared mission, resources, and opportunities and identify needs to cultivate a culture of healthy eating in Puerto Rico. Current partners include farming organizations, food distributors and establishments, clinics, consumers, and professional and public health organizations. My multisector, inclusive coalition will facilitate and break barriers to access to affordable, safe, enjoyable foods that will encourage healthy eating habits as a shared value in the general population.

Josiemer wants to elevate the evidence-based data that could help improve the health of our Latin@ communities through collaborative multidisciplinary partnerships. She wants to coordinate the well-designed, but isolated initiatives into one single vision.