How one medical center is affecting the health of its community members, outside the hospital bed.
Health. Outside the bed.
How does one effect health outside of the bed? This is exactly what my employer, Truman Medical Centers is working to address. Food is something that each of us has an intimate relationship with. Truman knows that a big issue affecting it’s patients population is a lack of access to quality produce in order to effectively feed themselves and their families.
Today, I would like to discuss a project that I began working on officially as of July 17th, 2012.
The hospital I work at, Truman Medical Centers & the Hospital Hill Economic Development Corporation began a Mobile Market. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority donated an out-of-service 40 ft bus to TMC and even did the work to outfit the bus as though it were a grocery store on wheels! The bus serves people in communities where there is not access to fresh produce by bringing it directly to them.
Health outside of the bed is very simple. It’s everything that doesn’t involve the bed (like surgery). I.e., food, health & wellness, education, outreach etc.
I am currently Manager over the Mobile Market and Healthy Harvest Farmers Market. What makes this position so interesting is that I am working on a much different way to positively affect the health of people through something each and every one of us must do. Eat.
Our relationship with food should be a very intimate one, however I suspect that this is not the case for everyone. It’s been very disturbing to find out that many people just don’t know about the foods that should and shouldn’t be consumed. Then again, I’m not surprised at all.
If anything, the food we eat should be our first line of defense not the last resort. Clearly this is not the case with the lack of fresh produce available to people in more urban and rural areas. The lack of knowledge about the different foods that are available and the culture of fast food that seems to be overtaking everything.
How do you think health should be affected outside of the bed? Here are my thoughts below.
(Disclaimer: *The statements are not the thoughts of Truman Medical Centers, The Hospital Hill Economic Development Corporation, or any parties involved with the Mobile Market. They are those of Far From Idle.*)
1) Stop focusing on the Pharmaceuticals.
Don’t get me wrong, pharmacy is a great and necessary part of healthcare. However, it can become an issue when the only thing fixed is the surface issue, not the root cause. A pharmacist can give you all the pills for hypertension you want, however if you get out, take your medicine, and go eat some fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, what do you expect?
To fix this, perhaps their should be more focus on the root cause of the issue. No, it’s not just genetics. Just because you are predisposed for something does not mean you will get it. It does mean you are more susceptible to that disorder. However if you take care of yourself by eating properly, among other things perhaps you can prevent diabetes.
Knowledge is power right? It is power, as long as you are getting the right information. I think that people (especially those in areas where people don’t have access to something.
3) Discover the root problem.
This is a much easier fix than taking fills to stop the long term issue. If anything it would take time. Each and every person has a story that led up to the present issue (insert issue here: lack of knowledge, some form of abuse, poverty, etc.)
I don’t have all the answers, and besides I am learning about healthcare daily. In the meantime, please check out one of the articles written about this project. There are other articles as well. If you would like to look more of them up, just google “Truman Medical Centers & Mobile Market”.
What are your thoughts on Healthcare? What do you think needs to change? What do you think is a more effective way of reaching people where they are? How do you reach these people?
Want to learn more about Truman Medical Centers & The Hospital Hill Economic Development Corporation? Follow them on Facebook, and check out the first PSA about the Mobile Market!
Come see how we roll.
Read more: Food (In)security