Wholesome Wave’s Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program to Launch in New York City Hospitals
New Public-Private Partnership with NYC Health and Hospital Corporation Made Possible by Support from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund
With the support of a $250,000 grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Wholesome Wave will partner with the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to launch its first hospital-based Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) pilot in the spring of 2013. As part of the Illumination Fund’s Healthy Food & Community Change initiative, the foundation’s grant enables Wholesome Wave to adapt its FVRx program from community clinics to work in much larger hospital settings.
“We are excited and honored to be partnering with HHC and incredibly grateful to the Illumination Fund and New York City for helping us expand this innovative program to hospitals,” says Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave, CEO and founder. “Through these FVRx pilots we hope we can demonstrate how community partnerships with private philanthropy, health care providers, food policy councils, and the farmers who grow local, fresh, healthy foods can help improve health and reduce overall health care costs.”
The new FVRx pilot with HHC will focus on patients at-risk of diet-related diseases and who live in underserved communities. In addition to receiving prescriptions for fruits and vegetables, which are redeemable at participating local farmers markets, patients meet regularly with their doctor to discuss the benefits of healthy eating and receive nutrition counseling from a trained professional. Wholesome Wave 2011 pilot results from communities where similar pilot FVRx programs were launched indicated that 38 percent of patients decreased body mass index (BMI), 94 percent increased fruit and vegetable consumption and that new and repeat market customers drove significant sales for farmers.
Details about which hospitals and farmers markets will be participating will be announced at a later date.