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.
Marydale DeBor was excited to speak with Jessie Johnson on the podcast ‘At The Table’. In the episode, Marydale and Jessie discussed the business needs that spurred a complete cafeteria overhaul in her Connecticut hospital, how to prioritize nutritious, local food as primary care, and the role of hospitals in building healthy communities.
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.
Want to learn more about the type of work Fresh Advantage does? Read this article to get a peek into a plan that was put together for addressing food insecurity at an urban Community Mental Health Center.
Marydale DeBor and Fresh Advantage was featured on CivilEats.com on April 6, 2016 in the article ‘This Visionary is Helping Hospitals Take Food Seriously‘ by Larissa Zimberoff. Check it out!
As they strive to prove they are benefiting communities under the Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals may become the latest battleground between fast-food purveyors and advocates of healthy—and preferably locally produced—cuisine.
“I am looking for opportunities for you to be the doctors to the world,” said Marydale DeBor, a former Connecticut hospital executive, at the convention for the National Farmers Union last month in Springfield, Mass.
Hospitals have long been a culinary joke, serving unappetizing food of questionable nutritional value to patients while selling fast food that is even more questionable in their cafeterias. Medical-school critics have chastised physicians for prescribing to patients costly drugs to deal with the effects of diseases that arise from bad diets and lack of exercise rather than feeding them healthy food and teaching them to eat better when they leave the hospital.
DeBor observed that the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act has strengthened the long standing IRS “community benefit” requirement that nonprofit hospitals must meet to justify their nonprofit status. This includes a mandate to perform a “community needs assessment” in collaboration with public health experts and stakeholders in local communities served by the hospital/hospital system and then to develop and implement a plan to meet the identified needs. Since obesity-related chronic disease is a widespread problem and improving food systems and access to healthful foods is now recognized as part of the solution to this problem, farmers should be among the stakeholders participating in the community needs assessment process.
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