Connecticut Health Care: Strengthening our Communities through Food System Action
January 9, 2017 10 AM-1PM
Connecticut Hospital Association, 110 Barnes Rd, Wallingford, CT 06492
Join the Connecticut Hospital Association, Health Care Without Harm, Hartford Food System, and the City of New Haven for a discussion of how health care can improve the health of their communities through food system interventions. Learn how health care can devote Community Benefit resources to improve access to healthy foods and support our local food system. Hear examples of how health care’s local food purchases can increase economic security and contribute to a healthier population. At this meeting we will discuss:
The role of health care purchasing in supporting our farmers and fishers.
How investing in local foods improves economic security and community health
How community-clinical connections can address food security.
How Community Benefit resources can address diet-related disease while improving our food system.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
- Attributed to Hippocrates
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."
- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, 1826 French physician
Who should attend?
Hospital Community Benefits officers, health care Food Service Directors, health care administrators
Those in the medical community have long extolled the importance of the diet in promoting health. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have been recommending a diet high in fruits and vegetables and lower in sweets and red meat for decades. Yet we have a population in Connecticut, and in the nation, where diet-related diseases are our leading causes of mortality. Further, our national agricultural policy does not reflect healthy diet recommendations, and subsidizes many of the foods that are leading to poor health. These food system issues have a greater effect on our more vulnerable populations, particularly low-income people and people of color. As community anchors, health systems can play a leadership role in addressing these issues.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, health care is being incentivized to prioritize preventative care, and can devote Community Benefit resources to improve access to healthy foods, and invest in the local food system. Further, as major purchasers of food, health care institutions can support their local economy, and send signals to the market that there is a demand for foods that have been produced in ways that are supportive of health.