AUSTIN – March 8, 2021 – Common Threads, a national nonprofit organization that provides cooking and nutrition education to children in under-resourced communities, today announced the appointment of Edwin McDonald IV M.D., assistant professor of medicine and associate clinical director of Adult Clinical Nutrition for University of Chicago Medicine, to its national board of directors.

“Dr. McDonald will be a terrific asset to Common Threads’ national board,” said Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, board vice chair and an obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, “Ed has a way of reaching the community in an authentic way, which will certainly help Common Threads as it continues to educate children and families on the connections between what we eat and our overall health.”

As a national board member, McDonald will help Common Threads develop relationships with programmatic and funding partners to help the organization fulfill its mission. He has already started collaborating with Common Threads on a project for the Oakwood Shores, a Chicago Housing Authority community, where Common Threads cooking lessons will be paired with health education sessions. Since the onset of COVID, Common Threads programming has occurred almost exclusively online. In the 2020-2021 academic year, the organization expects to reach nearly 40,000 children, parents and teachers in Chicago and its 11 other markets.

“I am honored to join the board of Common Threads, an organization whose mission so closely mirrors my previous work in the community,” McDonald said. “We need to continue to invest resources in nutrition education as communities recover from the realities of COVID.”

McDonald is a gastroenterologist who works with patients with small bowel diseases, obesity and other conditions affecting the digestive system. He has worked for many years with Project Brotherhood, an health care clinic dedicated to providing accessible, affordable care for Black men on Chicago’s South Side. McDonald has used creative approaches to help improve community health, teaching barbers to serve as health educators and earning a culinary arts certificate from Kendall College to better equip himself to give cooking demonstrations in under-resourced communities.

McDonald received his medical education at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed fellowships at Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago Medicine.

About Common Threads

Common Threads is a national nonprofit that provides children and families cooking and nutrition education to encourage healthy habits that contribute to wellness. We equip under-resourced communities with information to make affordable, nutritious and appealing food choices wherever they live, work, learn, and play. We know that food is rooted in culture and tradition so we promote diversity in our lessons and recipes, encouraging our participants to celebrate the world around them. For more information on Common Threads, visit, @CommonThreadsOrg (Instagram and Facebook) or @CommonThreadsUS on Twitter.