CareTrek Support Group

  • 440 Monticello Avenue, Suite 100
  • Norfolk, VA
  • 23510
  • (757) 985-3624

Rx: Doctors Prescribe Broccoli-Health Food Prescriptions

Posted by Chip Block on May 22, 2019 5:00 PM EDT
Chip Block photo

Building on some of the past blog postings about ways to drive large scale culture changes and the role of influencers and "nudges"....

....a recently published article in The Washington Post, and written by Fenit Nirappil, provided some interesting insight into moves some doctors are making to literally write "scripts" for health food vouchers for their patients who have chronic illnesses that can be abated through better nutrition.

According to the article, hospitals and local governments nationwide have been writing and filling prescriptions for healthy food in an effort to address the root causes of diabetes, hypertension and other costly illnesses.  The article continues on by stating that the goal, backed by some research, is to improve health and reduce costs by subsidizing fresh produce such as broccoli and grapefruit in addition to insulin and beta blockers.  Improved diet is also a target.

In 2001, Boston Medical Center launched one of the first food pharmacies with its preventive food pantry in the basement of the safety net hospital.  In San Francisco, health officials found that patients were more likely to pick up food from weekly events at neighborhood clinics at the public hospital.  In Pennsylvania, the Fresh Food Farmacy initiative by regional health insurer and provider Geisinger provides produce, cooking demonstrations and diabetes management lessons to 700 patients in the state.  An official with Geisinger said that the Fresh Food Farmacy costs about $3,500 per family annually.  And drops in blood sugar would result in greater savings than that due to fewer medications.

So, here is a real-world example of the kinds of actions that Joe addressed in his last blog.  Making meaningful changes that can shift dollars from medications, procedures and hospital stays to lower costs and more sustainable eating habits.

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.


  • Try CareTrek for $99
    Sign up and Enroll First Employee
    The first step in recovery journey
    CareTrek Support Group - (Norfolk VA 23510)

Recent Posts

Applicable Lessons from LSU's "Big Easy" National Championship
Having the good fortune of almost a week to reflect on the truly amazing yearlong feats of LSU's...
read more
Keeper's Watch: A Special Life Appreciated and a Dog Well Loved
They are forever blessed. They can't talk, yet they communicate with passion and compassion. They...
read more
John Kotter's Change Management Model Applied to Late Career Wellbeing
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about applying John Kotter's 8 step process for change...
read more
2020: The Precious Present of Happiness, Health and Prosperity
Quite some time ago, I was given "The Precious Present" a parable-style book written by Dr. Spencer...
read more
2020: Happiness, Health and Prosperity
The year 2020 brings to mind the idea of "focus". Not just "vision" in the long term sense of the...
read more
Strategic Innovation: 10 Business Rules Applied to Career Wellbeing
After taking a quick look at Chip Block's blog from New Year's Even 2019, it became clear that the...
read more
Applying Ten Lessons for Business Greatness to Older Workers' Careers
Since we have posted a series of blogs about career wellbeing for older workers, I thought it would...
read more
Recovery, Reinvention and Aging: Lessons from Handel and Beethoven
One of my favorite rites of passage during the holidays is to listen to Handel’s “Messiah”, an...
read more
The Birth That Changes the World
On this most beautiful day of the year, Christmas Day, we reprint with great pride, humility and...
read more
Aging and a Strong Economy
Just now I read a short piece online in's Money section which had been published by The Wall...
read more

Go to blog