Food Prescription Program

Wayne Memorial Launches Food Prescription Program

HONESDALE --Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) and Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC) supported by a nearly $300,000 grant from the AllOne Foundation will initiate a “Food Prescription Program” later this month. The program, funded for three years, will first be offered to patients of the Carbondale Family Health Center with expectations of extending to additional WMCHC Family Health Centers in the Honesdale area within the near future.

“It is our hope that, through outreaches such as the Food Prescription Program, complications associated with medical conditions prevalent within our community can be prevented and ultimately result in fewer lengthy hospital stays,” stated Wayne Memorial Hospital CEO David Hoff.

The mission of the Food Prescription Program is to provide healthful and nutritious meals to adult patients diagnosed with Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and have identified themselves as experiencing food insecurity. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a household with a food insecurity is one where “access to adequate food for active, healthy living is limited by lack of money and other resources.” Based on data collected by WMCHC through a survey tool conducted during regular office visits, a need for food subsidies was identified among some of its patient population.

Carol Kneier, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, community health manager atWayne Memorial Hospital and coordinator of the Food Prescription Program, explained the process. Participants selected based on diagnosis and the need to overcome food insecurity will be given a monthly “staple box” containing basic ingredients required to prepare meals tailored to their disease state. Grocery vouchers to purchase fresh food such as low fat meats, fruit and vegetables will be distributed along with a packet of over 20 recipes specifically designed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The final component, and according to Kneier one of the mostWayne Memorial Hosptial officials gather around a sample of the types of food patients will receive. essential, is that patients will meet either in-person or via video conference with a Wayne Memorial Registered Dietitian who will provide education and guidance.

“A great deal of preparation has gone into launching the program,” stated Kneier. “We’re grateful to all members of our team and excited to start a successful beginning to a healthier lifestyle for our participants.”

Pictured from left are, seated --Sharon Savakinas, PA-C, Carbondale Family Health Center; Ann Marie Kretchik, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, clinical dietitian, WMH; Carol Kneier, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, community health manager, WMH and coordinator of the Food Prescription Program. Standing -- David Hoff, president and CEO, WMH; John Cosgrove, executive director, AllOne Foundation; Frederick Jackson, executive director, WMCHC; and Kenneth Bannon, PA-C, Carbondale Family Health Center.