“Harris Health System Food Farmacy is a collaborative program with the Houston Food Bank. “We know that if we give our patients the tools — in this case foods — they need to succeed, they will…,” Dr. Glorimar Medina, Executive Vice president, Ben Taub Hospital says.
The Harris County Hospital District Foundation through its philanthropic efforts is raising funds and awareness for Harris Health System – Food Farmacy Program. This program helps patients dealing with food insecurity (without means to adequate food sources) and diabetes. Patients are identified by physicians and referred to the program based on their food insecurity needs and a diagnosis of diabetes.
Patients with documented food insecurity and diabetes with elevated A1C levels (three-month hemoglobin measures above 7%) qualify for the program. Each receives free food including:
30 pounds of fruits and vegetables, and four healthy food items like whole-grain rice, beans or meats every two weeks.
Currently, Harris Health System has three Food Farmacy locations at Strawberry and Acres Home Ambulatory Care Centers, and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) hospital.
About 60% of the 2,700 patients with diabetes in these locations have elevated A1C levels. Patients with A1C levels of 7% or more are at risk for severe nerve damage, kidney failure, loss of vision, as well as life-threatening conditions like stroke and heart disease.