The MANNA Institute explores the impact of nutrition on health for people with serious illnesses. We lead research and evaluation initiatives, educate healthcare practitioners and consumers, and share findings and best practices for improved service delivery and healthcare transformation.

Latest Results

Read about our most recent research project here.

Core Functions


Research & Evaluation


MANNA authored the first peer-reviewed study evaluating the impact of medically appropriate meals. Our continued research will evaluate when food can and should be a part of treatment, and improve access to medical nutrition


Improved, customized services

The Institute will identify best practices by evaluating different program designs and expand upon the 11 diet modifications to serve the needs of specific patient groups. We will help connect more patients to services by developing guidelines for identifying nutritional risk.


The next generation of leaders

Internships will be offered to further the education of students and professionals in nutrition and health-related fields, as well as support the work of MANNA and the Institute



Patients with diet-impacted illnesses often leave a doctor’s office with dietary instructions, but too many lack access to medically tailored meals. We’ll work to increase awareness of the available solutions for prescribed diets.


Shared expertise

We will share our research to help further the field of Food is Medicine as well as our own programming, improving the services we have offered for decades.



A key priority for the Institute is outreach to patients and community members about MANNA’s current programs, and to share expertise in medical nutrition for better outcomes



Jule Anne Henstenburg, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND, Director of Research & Evaluation at MANNA, is a registered dietitian and health policy researcher who is passionate about the role of food and nutrition in disease prevention, treatment, and management. Prior to joining MANNA, she held positions in teaching and administration within higher education. Her previous clinical work included positions as a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition. Jule Anne is currently State Policy Representative for the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


The MANNA Institute Research Advisory Board

Rickie Brawer, PhD, MPH, MCHES
Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

Katrina Claghorn, MS, RDN, LDN
University of Pennsylvania Health System

Ted Dallas

Lynn G Dever, MD, FAAP
Holland Pediatrics-Einstein Community Health Associates

Heidi J Lewis, MBA, BSN, RN, CPHQ
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer A Nasser, PhD, RDN
Drexel University

Claudia Parvanta, PhD
University of South Florida

Etienne Phipps, PhD
Public health consultant

Laura Pontiggia, PhD
University of the Sciences

Julius Steiner, JD

Richard Webster, MSN, RN
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

The MANNA Institute Founding Eight


Thank you to the MANNA Institute’s Founding Eight:

John Alchin, Kevin R. Boyle, Sue Daugherty, Lynn Garvin Dever, MD

Julia Fleischner, Steven H. Korman, Linda Richardson, Allan Schimmel

Join us

Academic institutions, health centers, and students interested in joining our research efforts can contact Jule Anne Henstenburg at or 215-496-2662 x122.

Individuals and institutions interested in financially supporting the work of the Institute can contact Sue Daugherty at 215-496-2662 x101.


View the MANNA Institute Brochure