Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 30

M e d i c a l r e c o r d f e at u r e

Preventive Power
of Produce
by Lisa Weaver, Penn State Health St.
Joseph, Downtown Campus, Reading PA
(Printed with permission by
Women2Women, Winter 2019)

Costs of a Poor Diet
Results from our past two Community Health Needs
Assessments (CHNA) for Berks County prioritize obesity and
chronic illness as areas of greatest need. Over 10% of adults suffer
from diabetes, nearly 40% have high blood pressure, and 30% are
considered obese. These local health priorities are microcosms of our
national health crisis. According to a 2017 National Public Radio
article addressing healthy eating, "Among 1 out of every 2 deaths
from heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. is linked
to a poor diet." In the U.S. alone, diabetes-related costs carry a hefty
$240+ billion price tag.
Moreover, the American Hospital Association recently reported
that inadequate accessibility and affordability of food is a major
health problem in our nation, and directly links to chronic health
issues. In October 2017, the local United Way's "Data Walk"
event revealed that 50% of households in one Reading community
worried about not having enough food. This is descriptive of a
larger phenomenon known as "food insecurity." Defined by the
American Hospital Association as "a household level economic and
social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food,
with either disrupted eating patterns or reduced food intake," food
insecurity is more prevalent among low-income populations and
significantly increases the risk of chronic illness.

A Fresh Approach
As part of our formal Community Health Implementation
Plan to address the 2016 CHNA priority needs, Penn State Health
St. Joseph began researching creative ways to bolster existing
resources related to treating obesity, diabetes, and other chronic
30

|

www.berkscms.org

conditions. Through our research, we learned of the incredible
work of Wholesome Wave, a national nonprofit which champions
the concept of a produce prescription program. Often clinically
based, these are innovative nutrition incentive programs that allow
physicians and healthcare providers to literally prescribe fruits and
vegetables to qualifying patients, who then redeem the prescriptions
at participating retail locations. Wholesome Wave's model has
proven to decrease patient care costs while simultaneously increasing
food security and strengthening the local economy. Across the
Wholesome Wave network, "69% of program participants eat more
produce and 47% decrease their BMI. And beyond the patient, local
economies thrive because every dollar spent benefits the farmer, the
retailer and the distributor."

Veggie Rx
We believe these outcomes are also possible here in Berks
County. Thus, by adapting Wholesome Wave's model, and in
partnership with the United Way, we have piloted our own fruit
and vegetable prescription program at Penn State Health St. Joseph's
Downtown Reading Campus. Officially launched in June 2018,
our pilot "Veggie Rx" program is intentionally small, for now only
targeting adults within our healthcare network who are struggling
with diabetes and weight loss. In the first 3 months, we enrolled
48 patients, and hope to reach 100 during the pilot phase. Basic
biometric data and patient health outcomes are being tracked to
evaluate the program's success. Thanks to multiple community
partnerships, our patients can redeem their prescribed vouchers
at various participating vendors, including the Penn St. Farmer's
Market.


http://www.berkscms.org

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 2
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 3
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 4
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 5
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 6
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 7
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 8
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 9
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 10
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 11
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 12
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 13
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 14
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 15
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 16
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 17
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 18
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 19
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 20
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 21
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 22
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 23
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 24
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 25
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 26
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 27
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 28
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 29
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 30
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 31
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 32
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 33
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 34
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 35
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 36
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 37
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 38
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 39
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring 2019 - 40
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BCMS_MedicalRecord_Fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalSocietyHealthWellnessDirectory
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksMedicalRecord_Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Spring2018b
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Winter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_Physician_Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/BerksCountyMedicalSociety_MedicalRecord_Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BerksCountyMedicalSociety/MedicalRecordSpring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com