Where did we start?
In partnership with community philanthropists, the Fresh Food Farmacy was launched in July 2016 at Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital* in Coal Township, Pennsylvania. The hospital is located in Northumberland County, which is home to an estimated nearly 22,000 adult residents who have pre-diabetes. Of those residents, 90 percent don't know they're pre-diabetic. Additionally, Northumberland County has the second-highest rate of long-term diabetes complications in central Pennsylvania.
We began this as a pilot program with just six patients, all diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and facing food insecurity. These patients were identified as having hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C) levels over 8.0. By working with their physician, our health managers and pharmacists teamed up with our dietitian to establish a nutritional counseling plan for each patient. The patients each received more than 20 hours of diabetes education with our health coaches, and received enough food weekly to prepare healthy and nutritious meals twice a day for five days. In addition to the fresh food, patients received a welcome kit including measuring cups and spoons, recipes and nutrition information to use at home.
The Fresh Food Farmacy was created to deliver the gold standard of diabetes care by providing diabetes education and healthy food in a sensitive, caring and respectful manner. Now we serve more than 250 patients and their families.
*A campus of Geisinger Medical Center