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VU med student brings healthier eating to Nashville’s food deserts

April 10, 2011
Nashville City Paper

In December 2009, a first-year Vanderbilt medical student putting in time at a free clinic in East Nashville met four very sick patients. Each ate poorly and had hit a predictable trifecta: diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

He could’ve recited the importance of healthy food and returned to his hectic 22-year-old life: 60-plus hours at the clinic and school. But Ravi Patel already had a pattern of enterprising where others empathize. By his sophomore year in college, he’d helped create a microfinance project in Uganda, allowing 15 women with HIV to sell their crafts around the globe. (That was inspired by a freshman year spring break spent volunteering at a clinic in Guatemala.)

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