Harris County Hospital wins Gage Award for Healthy Harvest program
The National Association of Public Hospitals honored Harris County Hospital District with the Gage Award for Improving Population Health for the hospital's Healthy Harvest program during the national conference in San Francisco on June 21, according to a release.
"By addressing nutrition deficiency in patient populations, Harris County is helping to stem a major health care crisis that contributes to numerous chronic diseases," said Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO of NAPH, in a press release. "Healthy Harvest offers a clear example of innovation by the safety net and the value NAPH members have as leaders and mentors for the broader health care industry."
The Healthy Harvest program partnered the hospital district with Veggie Pals Inc. to offer low prices on fresh vegetables and fruits to patients, many of whom live in communities with few or no grocery stores. Farmers' markets are hosted in the hospital's district health centers once a week to sell an average of 30 tons of produce a month. The program began in November 2011 with the help of Medical Director of Weight Management Services and Disease Prevention Dr. Ann Smith Barnes. Barnes is also assistant professor of the Medicine Department at the Baylor College of Medicine.
"The recognition for this program is wonderful, but the real success is the spotlight it shines on the lack of nutrient-rich foods in some of our communities and a call to action by public and private efforts," Barnes said in the press release. "If other organizations mobilized their resources, we collectively could do something about the obesity crisis facing our nation."
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