Linking primary care to the community
At Lankenau Medical Center we are deeply committed to the health and well-being of the communities we serve, and we recognize that creating a culture of health goes well beyond hospital walls.
In response to an extensive community health needs assessment and review of statistical information regarding the health conditions, concerns, and lifestyle behaviors of patients in the counties we serve, we embarked on a mission to transform people’s health in our communities by offering programs and screenings that help residents have more affordable and easier access to nutritious foods as well as social, medical and financial services.
Below are some of the programs that are changing people’s lives.
Philly Food Bucks and Food Trust farmers’ markets
In partnership with The Food Trust and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative, we piloted a Philly Food Bucks project to work in conjunction with our outpatient practice.
Through the program, eligible patients in Lankenau Medical Associates, a primary care practice, receive $10 in Philly Food Bucks, which they can redeem at Food Trust farmers’ markets in Philadelphia to purchase healthy food. This encourages patients to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables—the foundation of a wholesome, healthy diet—and increases their buying power to bring home more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lankenau has incorporated the Philly Food Bucks program (view the PDF brochure) directly into routine primary care practice where patients receive a prescription for Philly Food Bucks. Each Philly Food Buck has a unique serial number linked to the patient so that we can track and monitor usage through the patient’s electronic medical record. Our physicians are then able to track long-term health outcomes for their patients who are using Philly Food Bucks.
“This program has influenced me to take better care of myself, and I feel like being able to get my blood pressure done at the corner store that I shop at regularly gives me accountability.” – Heart Smarts participant
Free health screenings at Philadelphia farmers’ markets
As the exclusive hospital sponsor for eight large Philadelphia farmers markets, we provide health education, screenings, and community outreach. Our Lankenau health educators engage with farmers’ market shoppers, providing free nutrition information, seasonal recipes, health screenings and family-oriented wellness activities. Blood pressure screenings help our educators identify at-risk individuals, and provide them with health information and connections for follow-up care. By underscoring the connection between nutrition and health outcomes, we are helping to create a bridge between primary care and healthy food access in the community.
Turning the corner store into a healthy community asset
In partnership with The Food Trust, our Heart Smart Corner Store initiative aims to convert the corner store into a healthy community asset by offering health screenings, nutrition education, and medical referral for at-risk adults—right at the corner store, close to home. Highlights of the program include:
- In-store and community based education on healthy eating and heart disease prevention, including taste test and cooking demos
- Free health screenings (blood pressure, BMI,) conducted on a monthly basis by health professionals
- Referrals and follow-up for all participants with high blood pressure
- Referrals for smoking quit line and insurance exchange
Health education in primary care
As a patient-centered medical home, Lankenau Medical Associates and Lankenau Obstetrics and Gynecology Care Center embedded health educators to support patients in achieving better health outcomes. Health educators serve as key members of the team, providing one-on-one counseling on nutrition education and smoking cessation during the patient’s regularly scheduled visit.
In addition, bi-weekly pop-up nutrition classes are conducted in the practice’s waiting rooms. These classes provide a large group (captive audience) with nutritional information, transforming "waiting time" into a time for health education. The pop-up class curriculum is interactive, designed to meet the needs of all participants, and serves as a launching pad for continued conversation between the physician and the patient.
Pop-up nutrition classes – In the past year, health educators conducted over 100 classes in the waiting room, reaching over 1100 patients in the past year.
Pop-up food demonstration classes – Every patient receives healthy ingredients from the farm and a recipe to try at home!