Wendelin Slusser

Dr. Wendelin Slusser is Associate Vice Provost (AVP) for the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) Center at UCLA, building a culture of health and equity through a collective impact model for the over 85,000 students, staff, and faculty, and beyond. She is also HS Clinical Professor of Pediatrics in the UCLA School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor in UCLA School of Public Health, and Co-Founder and Academic Director of the UCLA Fit for Health program. As a Pediatrician and Educator for UCLA Pediatric Residents for 20 years at the Venice Family Clinic she emphasized in her teaching to care for patients holistically including addressing the multiple determinants of health. Her leadership for the UC wide Global Food Initiative inspired the establishment of the UC Healthy Campus Network (HCN), based on the successes of Semel HCI Center. As a co-leader of the UC HCN, Dr. Slusser has led efforts to integrate health equity into the UC system with initiatives such as UC Diabetes Prevention Program, the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, Healthy Vending Initiative, and Healthy Beverages Initiative. In addition, she led the Campus Recovery and Response Task Force’s Wellness & Work Expectations Work Group to ensure the UCLA community’s well-being issues were addressed in the campus COVID-19 pandemic response plans. She has long been an advocate for healthy food for young children in LA schools and was the PI on the Fruit and Vegetable Bar Intervention study that inspired national legislation & former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Salad Bar to Schools. She was also the PI on the Prevention of Childhood Overweight through Parent Training Intervention Project focused on low-income preschool children and their parents that inspired the LA County Department of Public Health to adopt the parenting curriculum countywide. Her research includes evaluating the outcomes of a nutrition education curriculum for medical, nursing and pediatric residents. In 2008 she was Awarded the Beverllee Myers Award of Excellence, given annually to an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership and accomplishments in public health in California; she was selected in 2010 to be a member of the Institute of Medicine committee, Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children; and in 2020 she received the Venice Family Clinic Visionary Award. In her free time, she leads the sustainability efforts for the Slusser Ranch in the Russian River Valley as a member of a fifth-generation California farming family.


  • MS, Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons Pediatric Residency, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, NY
  • MD, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, NY
  • BA, Biology, Princeton University, NJ

Areas of Interest

  • Breastfeeding policy and promotion
  • International maternal and child health
  • Child nutrition with a focus on school based intervention programs
  • Pediatric residency education with a focus on community pediatrics

Selected Publications

  • Thang C, Whitley M, Izadpanah N, DeUgarte D, Slusser W (2017). Retrospective Review of Comorbid Conditions in a Multidisciplinary Pediatric Weight Management Clinic. Clin Pediatr.
  • Pont SJ,  Puhl R , Cook SR, Slusser W; SECTION ON OBESITY; OBESITY SOCIETY (2017). Stigma Experienced by Children and Adolescents With Obesity. Pediatrics e20173034.
  • Viana J, Leonard SA, Kitay B, Ansel D, Angelis P, Slusser W (2017). Healthier vending machines in a university setting: Effective and financially sustainable. Appetite121: 263-267.
  • Upchurch DM, Gill M, Jiang L, Prelip M, Slusser W (2018) Use of Mind-Body Therapies Among Young Adults Aged 18-24 Years: Findings From the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. J Adolesc Health. pii: S1054-139X(18)30140-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2018.03.014.
  • Jay J, D’Auria R, Nordby C, Rice DA, Friscia A, Kissinger S, Levis M, Rajagopal D, Reynolds J, Slusser W, Wang M, Wesel E. (2019) Reduction of the carbon footprint of college freshman diets after a food-based environmental science course. Climatic Change 154, 547–564
  • Cowgill BO, Perez V, Gerdes E, Sadda A, Ly C, Slusser W, Leung A. (2020) Get up, stand up, stand up for your health! Faculty and student perspectives on addressing prolonged sitting in university settings. American Journal of College Health DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1661419
  • Dudovitz RN, Sim MS, Elashoff D, Klarin J, Slusser W, Chung PJ. (2020) Receipt of Corrective Lenses and Academic Performance of Low-Income Students. Acad Pediatr. Sep-Oct;20(7):910-916. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2020.01.001.
  • Malan H, Amsler Challamel G, Silverstein D, Hoffs C, Spang E, Pace SA, Malagueño BLR, Gardner CD, Wang MC, Slusser W, Jay JA. (2020) Impact of a Scalable, Multi- Campus "Footprint"; Seminar on College Students' Dietary Intake and Dietary Carbon Footprint. Nutrients. Sep 22;12(9):2890.
  • Malan H, Watson TD, Slusser W, Glik D, Rowat AC, Prelip M. (2020) Challenges, Opportunities, and Motivators for Developing and Applying Food Literacy in a University Setting: A Qualitative Study. J Acad Nutr Diet. Jan;120(1):33-44.
  • Harada M, Guerrero A, lyer S, Slusser W, Szilagyi M, Koolwijk I (2021) The relationship between adverse childhood experiences and weight-related health behaviors in a national sample of children Academic Pediatrics, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2021.05.024
  • Rowat AC, Soh M, Malan H, Jensen L, Schmidt L, Slusser W (2021) Promoting an interdisciplinary food literacy framework to cultivate critical citizenship. J Am Coll Health. May-Jun;69(4):459-462. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1679149. Epub 2019 Nov 5. PMID: 31689147
  • Gholami M, Jackson N, Un YBC, Duru K, Shedd K, Soetenga S, Loeb T, Elashoff D, Hamilton AB, Mangione CM, Slusser W and Moin T. (2021) Evaluation of the University of California Diabetes Prevention Program (UC DPP) Initiative. BMC Public Health 21:1775 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11731-7
  • Malan H, Bartolotto C, Wilcots C, Angelis P, Ferrone A, Wible C, Westbrook E, Fabris E, Wang MC, Slusser W, Jay JA, Prelip M. Increasing the Selection of Low-Carbon Footprint Entrées at UCLA Dining through the Addition of New Menu Items and a Social Marketing Campaign. Submitted to Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (in press)