Our Staff

Our staff consists of physicians and dietitians with a passion for helping kids discover healthy food and active lifestyles.

Taking Steps Together Program

Our Staff

Diana Cutts, MD

Dr. Cutts graduated from the University of Illinois. She completed her residency training in pediatrics at Boston University and Harvard University. She has been involved in clinical care, teaching, and research for over twenty years in the Twin Cities. Her work on childhood hunger and related adverse outcomes have been published and provided testimony at state and national congressional hearings.

Dr. Cutts is the Assistant Chief of Pediatrics at Hennepin Healthcare and directs the Children's Growth and Nutrition Program. She is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Also a mom, Dr. Cutts benefits from continuous in-the-trenches training at the hands of her four children.

Patty Barland, RD

Patty grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from Regina High School and from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Clinical Nutrition. With over 25 years of service to Hennepin Healthcare, she is the longest-serving employee on the TST Team. During that time, Patty has seen an increased number of young patients living with obesity or headed in that direction.

Patty and her colleagues at the Richfield Clinic discussed ways to prevent or reverse the increase in childhood obesity. They thought the TST program at Hennepin Healthcare-downtown presented a successful model to emulate. They partnered with TST program staff and the Windom Community Center and thus a second TST program was born. Patty also works in diabetes education and as a lactation consultant.

Patty’s philosophy for a healthy life is simple: Spend less time in front of the television. Spend more time in the kitchen. Make preparing real food fun. She has helped make that a guiding principle for all of the TST programs.

The outdoors, especially gardening, biking, running, and beekeeping are Patty’s favorite ways to spend time with her family and enjoy nature. If you visit the Huerta del Eden (TST-Family Community Garden) you might see Patty and her husband working on the adjacent plot.

Our Program

Find information about the Taking Steps Together Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find frequently asked questions and answers about the Taking Steps Together Program.


Kids in circle

Vanessa Xiong

TST Program Coordinator

[email protected]