Food for Health at all Ages
“A regular diet of fruits, vegetables and other nutritious food has long been shown to stave off and treat chronic illnesses and promote healing after surgery. And unlike pharmaceuticals, nutritious food does not have side effects. It’s also well established that a deficit of nourishing food is a major cause of health disparities among people with low incomes and people of color, who suffer disproportionately from heart diseases, diabetes and other deadly and debilitating illnesses.
A major driver of health care costs, chronic diseases account for 81% of all hospital admissions, 91% of all prescriptions, and 76% of all doctor’s visits, according to figures cited by several leading medical groups. More than half of Americans suffer from at least one diet-related chronic disease. Research compiled by the Food is Medicine Coalition, a research and advocacy group, shows that only six months of dietary interventions such as medically tailored meals can reduce overall medical costs by 16%, or $220 per month per patient. That’s a result of 58% fewer emergency department visits, 49% fewer hospital admissions and 72% fewer nursing home admissions.”*
Please join Maryland Philanthropy Network’s Aging Innovations and Health Funders Affinity Groups for our fourth discussion about community-based programs supported by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) Total Cost of Care resources. This program will provide information on the development and implementation of local programs that align with the national strategy announced at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. We will learn about the healthcare infrastructure Maryland is developing that includes dietary screening, diagnosis and billing codes, and staff protocols for prescribing diet interventions.
First, Holly Freishtat, Director of Feeding Change at Milken Institute, will provide a brief overview of Feeding Change and will discuss how the Food Is Medicine Task Force is advancing the Food Is Medicine Prescription (Food Rx) agenda on national and regional levels through policy, financial innovations, and through elevating the importance of Food Rx in public events, thought leadership, and publications.
Then, we will hear from Stephanie Archer-Smith, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels, and Susan Elias, Executive Director of Moveable Feast, who are expanding the scale of medically tailored meals through the launch of the Food Access and Support Services Team (FASST) collaboration.
MPN members and partners will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about opportunities to support advocacy efforts to promote health care system funding for community food distribution programs and maintain Medicaid/SNAP benefits.
This program is for Maryland Philanthropy Network members and invited guests only.
*Doctors Prescribe Healthy Meals to Keep Patients Out of the Hospital, The Pew Charitable Trust’s Stateline Article on October 12, 2022 by Christine Vestal
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