Beginning with development of an institutional food policy unique to your specific organization, that engages key stakeholders, Fresh Advantage can transform your food program in some of the following ways:
Dining service operation assessment and specific recommendations for:
- Oversight of food service management company selection process via competitive bid process or sole source selection
- Functionality and design of the commercial kitchen, nourishing stations on floors, break areas, cafeteria and vending locations, including food waste management
- Patient-friendly approaches to ordering and serving to enhance patient satisfaction
- Menu design for both patient and retail service, to enhance quality and nutritional value, using local and regional sourcing
- Culinary staff training and competency
- Evaluation, via Press Ganey or other patient satisfaction survey systems.
Development and integration of systems to screen hospital inpatients and primary care patients for nutritional status and food insecurity, coupled with referral systems to nutritional counseling and community food resources:
- Integration of patient “food care” plans into discharge planning to reduce the risk of readmission and chronic disease management due to malnutrition, dietary deficiencies, and obesity-related diseases.
- Development of “food care” plans for primary care practice patients based upon a collaborative model with nutritionists, social workers, with linkage to appropriate community resources and service providers. Coupled with the necessary and appropriate medical care, our approach promotes disease management and can reduce the financial risk associated with new provider reimbursement models (ACOs, bundled payments) that hold clinicians accountable for factors beyond the clinical encounter—-a health promoting diet leading the list of factors that impact patients with diabetes and other chronic disease.
Design of Patient Education and Support Programs
- Education, diet management and culinary skill building programs for specific patient groups, including those living with or at increased risk of: diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases associated with obesity. Our teams also have expertise in working with individuals living with mental illness who are at increased risk of chronic diseases associated with food insecurity and poor diets.
Community Health Promotion/Population Health
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains a host of provisions intended to promote prevention and population health at the community level.
Specifically, the “community benefit” obligations applicable to non-profit hospitals since 1969 were significantly enhanced by the ACA: both the statute and the IRS regulations implementing the law make it clear that the activities to be pursued to fulfill the obligation are not just limited to heath care/services, but extend to activities to promote the health of populations in the communities the hospital is there to serve. Fresh Advantage has special expertise in helping hospitals to develop meaningful processes and activities, consistent with the “Community Health Needs Assessment” regulatory framework to meet community health needs such as obesity, diabetes and other chronic disease prevention. Examples include:
Experiential learning food and nutrition programs for children and youth, in partnership with schools, youth centers and other organizations that facilitate knowledge and skills through engaging, enjoyable and age appropriate curricula. Our approach can be a real awakening for kids and their families, fostering good food practices in the home, a sense of empowerment and reducing the risk of diet-sensitive disease.
Elder health initiatives, in cooperation senior centers, visiting nurse associations, and other groups focused on ensuring adequate and enjoyable meals to reduce the risk of malnutrition which can exacerbate chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, leading preventable emergency room visits and hospitalization.
Connecticut Mental Health Center
Not only is their leadership visionary and creative, they listened to our needs and goals and created a practical, cost-effective plan to completely reinvent our food service operation and mesh it with our research and therapeutic programs. There’s no end to the superlatives I can come up with to describe Marydale DeBor’s work as a consultant and colleague.
New Milford Hospital
During my tenure as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and then President of the Medical Staff at New Milford Hospital, I worked with Marydale (then a hospital Vice President) as she led the implementation of organization-wide changes, for example: transforming the food service operation and integrating attention to nutrition and a health-promoting diet into patient care, and also creating an integrative medicine program with those providers fully credentialed through the hospital medical staff processes. These major accomplishments reflect her knowledge of hospital operations and her outstanding ability to innovate through system changes to improve health care practice. To be sure, Marydale was “ahead of the curve” in both her vision and ability to get things done despite many barriers. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its focus on population health and prevention, her experience will be invaluable to hospitals as they adapt to the requirements of that federal legislation regulations.
Evan Hack, MD. Pediatrician, President of the Medical Staff of New Milford Hospital, New Milford CT (January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2012), President- elect (January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010) and Chairman of the Dept of Pediatrics (1995-2008).