“Food-as-medicine is an amazing opportunity to increase health equity for all. It’s one of those interventions and innovations in healthcare which can close the health disparity gap—potentially—if we can make it accessible.” – Dr. Steven Chen
Rodale Institute, a prestigious agricultural research and education nonprofit, recently held its Farm to Healthcare Immersion at St. Luke’s University Health Network.
The conference, which is part of the Institute’s investments in global public health, provided step-by-step guidance on how to adopt, scale, and leverage a farm-to-institution model to elevate patient outcomes and overall wellness among employee populations.
The content covered included insightful presentations from leading experts about how to implement a successful farm-to-institution model, including ramping up local food sourcing and starting an on-site farm.
The Immersion’s keynote speaker, Dr. Steven Chen, chief medical officer of Alameda County Recipe4Health, is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford School of Medicine. A board-certified family medicine physician, he is one of the nation’s most prominent experts in improving food and nutrition insecurity and chronic conditions through food-based interventions.
“Many of us went into medicine to think upstream—to think about not only the individual patient, but the communities in which they come from and how to actually make changes there,” said Dr. Chen in his address to the conference. “Food-as-medicine actually connects multiple determinants of health both upstream and downstream.”
Dr. Chen’s notable achievements include leading California’s first medically supportive food and nutrition services covered by Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid provider.
“Food-as-medicine is an amazing opportunity to increase health equity for all. It’s one of those interventions and innovations in healthcare which can close the health disparity gap—potentially—if we can make it accessible,” said Dr. Chen.
Organizations with representatives in attendance included: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Augusta Health, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Hillman Cancer Center, Provincial Health Services Authority (Vancouver, Canada), and Tufts University. Officials from U.S. Senator Bob Casey and U.S. Senator John Fetterman’s offices also participated in the conference.
As part of the conference, attendees learned about the benefits of farm-to-institution models from a successful case study at St. Luke’s Health Network’s Anderson campus.
Leaders from across the health sector also had the opportunity to engage with Rodale Institute’s Organic Consulting division alongside a network of innovators working to implement nutrient-dense, organic food systems into their operations.
To learn more about the Immersion, click here.CONTRIBUTE TO RODALE INSTITUTE’S INVESTMENTS IN PUBLIC HEALTH