HAP Achievement Award Winner Spotlight: Lankenau Medical Center
January 19, 2018
Pennsylvania is home to some of the most cutting-edge hospitals in the country. This week, we’re sharing the award-winning program developed by Lankenau Medical Center that improved access to food and nutrition services for members of its community.
Lankenau, which is located in Wynnewood, is set in the middle of two Pennsylvania countiesone that Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranks as the sixth-healthiest county in the state, and the other as the least healthiest county in the state.
Demographic data for the least healthy county revealed that more than one-third of adults aged 18-64 was obese, more than one-quarter suffered from a chronic condition, and 90 percent did not eat enough fruits and vegetables. In addition to these complex health challenges, many faced psychosocial issues, including insufficient food or inadequate housing, further compromising their health.
Lankenau embraced that challenge and developed a solution that enhances patient nutrition and overall health through the creation of a half-acre organic Wellness Farm of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
Research has shown that the implementation of community gardens have proven to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, community engagement, and physical activity. The Wellness Farm, which grew more than 4,200 pounds of organic produce, has improved the community’s access to healthy foods and provided education about the link between nutrition and health. It also supports primary care providers’ efforts to identify and address food insecurities.
Evidence of the Wellness Farm’s success includes:
- Conducting more than 100 food demonstrations and distributing produce to more than 1,000 vulnerable patients of Lankenau’s health clinics that serve the uninsured and underinsured populations
- Conducting youth-based programming for more than 10,000 students and farm-based youth education classes for more than 400 students
- Teaching 30 nutrition classes for patients with congestive heart failure about how to substitute herbs for salt
- Launching a two-week Internal Medicine Residency Farm Elective and integrating the farm into its Medical Student Health Advocacy Program to help to educate the next generation of physicians about the power of healthy food and nutrition
- Receiving coverage of the Wellness Farm project by more than a dozen media outlets nationally and by First Lady Michelle Obama during the “Let’s Move!” Celebratory Event at the White House during 2016
Congratulations to Lankenau Medical Center for receiving a 2017 HAP Achievement Award. Learn more about its effort—as well as the other 12 award-winning programs—at HAP’s website.
HAP honors hospitals and health systems for their innovation, creativity, and commitment to patient care through its annual Achievement Awards program.
HAP members are encouraged to start planning now for their 2018 Achievement Awards submission by identifying innovative patient-centered initiatives that improve health care quality and efficiency and the health of their communities. HAP will issue a call for entries during March, emailing it to members and making it available online. Entries will be due during May, with winners announced during June.
Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards program may be directed to HAP Member Services.