As health systems across Kansas struggle to address the growing prevalence of chronic disease, which can cause devastating effects on individuals and families and contribute to the rising costs of health care, Sunflower Foundation is focusing on the critical role nutrition can play in preventing, treating, and even reversing these conditions.
On Aug. 24, the Sunflower Nonprofit Center hosted staff from six of Kansas’ Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHC’s), representatives of the state’s food banks, and stakeholders from state agencies and organizations at our first Food is Medicine Learning Collaborative. The event featured expert speakers and learning opportunities centered around the message that dietary intervention can be a powerful tool in improving patient health outcomes and curbing health care costs.
The collaborative also served as a launching point for implementation of Sunflower Foundation’s Food is Medicine initiative, involving the six FQHC’s (Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas in Pittsburg, Genesis Family Health in Dodge City/Garden City, HealthCore in Wichita, Health Ministries Clinic in Newton, Heartland Community Health Center in Lawrence, and Hoxie Medical Center in Sheridan County). The foundation will work with the clinics, as well as Kansas Food Bank and Harvesters Food Bank, to implement programs at each clinic that target patients with chronic conditions who are lacking proper nutrition. Through Food is Medicine, these patients will be provided such items as medically tailored groceries, nutritious food and meal ingredients, and cooking educational opportunities – all with the purpose of helping them better manage their chronic disease.
We are at the crossroads of food and health, where Sunflower Foundation and its Food is Medicine partners are striving to be catalysts for change in health care, working together to create a sustainable model of care that improves health outcomes for Kansans suffering from chronic disease.