Our Food Pharmacy - Where Fruits and Vegetables Join Pills as Prescription Options
Some diseases are better treated by a change in diet than by a pill, but nutritional advice is impossible to follow when a patient may not know where the next meal is coming from or lives in a place without easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Many patients may not know how to prepare the right foods to get their chronic conditons under control. That's where the Community Free Clinic's Lifestyle Medicine Food Pharmacy comes into play. This innovative pilot program, made possible by grant funding from the Office of Rural Health and the CVS Health Foundation, utilizes a partnership between the Clinic, Cooperative Christian Ministries, Cabarrus Health Alliance and local grocery stores and gardens to offer select patients referrals to the Food Pharmacy, housed on the second floor of the Clinic.
This month, patients of our High Risk Diabetic Clinic began to be identitifed and referred to participate in this program. Our medical providers arm these patients with education and coaching and enroll them in healthy cooking classes as needed. Patients will pick up their food (including enough for their families) on a weekly basis and have the opportunity to meet with Clinic staff during their pick up.
We are confident that patients who participate in this program will see reduced A1C levels and experience significant improvements in blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure. While providing their families with healthy meals they prepare themselves, they will be better able to manage their diabetes with fewer complications. These outcomes will be tracked and reported to ensure that this program is making a real-life difference for our patients.
Pictured below is the future home of our Food Pharmacy, made possible by a generous donation from Food Lion.