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Program's message: Eat more fruits and vegetables

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Four WellSpan Medical Group practices involved in pilot program

Eat more fruits and vegetablesIt’s no surprise that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to protect one’s health.

Throughout the summer months, local farmers provide plentiful fruits and vegetables for sale at markets in our communities.

Yet, according to the latest Community Health Needs Assessment for York and Adams counties, a large percentage of adults may not be consuming an adequate amount of vegetables.

Only three percent of adult respondents ate the recommended servings of vegetables the day before. Among those adults who are living in poverty, no one reported consuming the recommended servings of vegetables the day before.

WellSpan Community Health and Wellness aims to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables through a two-part pilot program involving staff members and patients from Gettysburg Adult Medicine, Stony Brook Family Medicine, Thomas Hart Family Medicine and Yorktowne Family Medicine.

From June through September, the four participating practices are distributing Fruit and Veggie RX “prescriptions” which prompt patients to eat the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables. The back of the "prescriptions" also provide useful links to online recipes and local farmers’ markets.

Additionally, the four practices have identified 40 low-income patients diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes who will participate in the WellSpan Market Bucks program.

The patients will receive $20 worth of fruit and vegetable vouchers per month redeemable for produce at local markets from June through September.

Health coaches at the practices also will distribute resources to inform patients of healthy food options and assist patients in creating a plan to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.

The success of the pilot program will be determined through patient participation tracked through pre- and post-surveys, clinical metrics and voucher redemption rates per each patient, along with interviews from health coaches and market owners.

For more information about the program, contact Joe Anne Ward Cottrell at mwardcottrell@wellspan.org, or call 851-3231.

To find a farmers’ market near you, visit www.buyfreshbuylocalyork.com for York County or www.acfarmersmarkets.org for Adams County. For Lancaster County's farmers markets, visit http://www.padutchcountry.

For recipes which incorporate fruits and vegetables in tasty ways, visit www.wellspan.org/marketbasket.

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