Marydale DeBor recently co-authored a paper on current developments in addressing food insecurity in medical practice.
Created with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Care Without Harm’s “Delivering community benefit: Healthy food playbook” supports hospital community benefit professionals and community partners in developing initiatives to promote healthy food access and healthy, local and sustainable food systems. Marydale DeBor was excited to serve as Senior Adviser to this important three year project.
The playbook and events throughout the year offer inspiration and tools to address food- and diet-related community health needs throughout the community health engagement process.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Hospitals in the US are setting up food banks, and medical schools are putting cooking classes on the curriculum – part of a shift in focus away from simply treating disease toward caring for the whole person.” Read this insightful article to learn more.
The Yale Daily News, the nation’s oldest college daily newsletter recently featured an article on Fresh Advantage and their work with Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). “Food for Thought” discusses the work of Marydale Debor, Chef Ann Gallagher, and Francine Blinten with the vulnerable populations served by CMHC.
On October 14, Fresh Advantage’s Managing Director Marydale DeBor, partner Chef Anne Gallagher, and Fresh Advantage affiliate nutritionist Francine Blinten enjoyed “Tea” (a longstanding Yale tradition) with the next crop of eager healthy-food champions on campus at Pierson College. This Fresh Advantage trio was delighted to be the first special guests in the Yale Sustainable Food Program’s 2015–16 speaker series “Women of Food.” The afternoon’s theme was “Women Addressing Food in Healthcare.”
“Nonprofit hospitals, which make up about 60 percent of American hospitals, have historically justified their tax exemptions from federal and state government by offering charitable services in communities where they operate. Community health clinics and free and discounted care for poor patients have been among their tactics. But most nonprofit hospitals have not been required to report in detail exactly what they are doing to help people in need. Measures to prevent disease have not been required. Many hospitals have aggressively collected overdue payments from low-income patients, a practice that is discordant with being deemed charities.
Food insecurity is increasing in the United States, and—not surprisingly—evidence shows that hunger should be considered as a health issue. Researchers have documented that economically vulnerable patients must sometimes choose between buying food and buying medication, and low-income individuals with diabetes have higher rates of hospital admissions for hypoglycemia at the end of the month when they are running out of food.
We were pleased to see this report from the Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation of the Harvard Law School. Food Is Medicine: Opportunities in Public and Private Health Care for Supporting Nutritional Counseling and Medically Tailored, Home-Delivered Meals discusses the significance of nutrition for patients with acute and chronic illnesses. The report also offers suggestions for how providers of medically tailored nutrition intervention services can work with public and private insurance systems. The authors note that “people with acute and chronic illnesses often have difficulty obtaining and preparing adequate food. Malnourished patients are twice as likely to be readmitted to a hospital within 15 days of discharge and have a much higher risk of death than patients who are well-nourished.”
Feeding America reports that 30 percent of seniors who rely on local food pantries say they sometimes must choose between paying for food and paying for medical care. As the infographic shows, older Americans without enough food to eat are at higher risk of developing serious health issues, including heart disease.
VIDEO & PODCAST LIBRARY
Recovery is Cooking
From Connecticut Mental Health Center
Plow to Plate
Before Fresh Advantage, Marydale co-founded Plow to Plate. Hear about their successes on All Things Connecticut
Prescribing Food, Part 1: Making Hospitals Healthier
From Heritage Radio Network
Women Addressing Food In Healthcare
From the Yale Sustainable Food Project Podcast