Dr Cherie Hugo is an accredited practising dietitian with around 25 years of experience consulting with her team of My Nutrition Clinic dietitians to community, healthcare centres, hospitals, and aged care organisations across Australia. Dr Hugo founded The Lantern Project in 2013, a national aged care collaboration and action-based research initiative based at Bond University, focused on improving older Australian’s quality of life through the joy of good food. In 2018, Dr Hugo completed her PhD research centred around quantifying the value of nutrition in aged care. This research and national industry engagement saw Dr Hugo as part of the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s National Standards Guidance Reference Group. The evidence-based set of principles developed out of Dr Hugo’s research is now the basis of the guidance material relating to Nutrition and Hydration, Unplanned Weight Loss and Clinical Deterioration for the nation’s Aged Care Quality Standards. In the past 5 years Dr Hugo has translated the research into an industry-endorsed aged care food, nutrition and mealtime experience ratings tool, Epicure. Epicure offers a way for aged care homes to prioritise areas of need within the aged care food, nutrition and dining experience and to map this across the 8 Aged Care Quality Standards.
Dr Hugo has written weekly health and nutrition columns for a newspaper over a 13 year period, has been the plenary speaker for many health and research conferences and events and continues to lead the conversation around the value of good food, nutrition and mealtime experience in enhancing longevity and quality of life. She was presented the keynote speech at the Federal Department of Health’s National Congress around Food, Nutrition and Mealtime Experience, has presented at the Aged Care Catering Summits over the past 5 years and was named Gold Coast’s Women of the Year in the Wellness category in 2020 for her work.