The James M. Cox Foundation announced a $1.35 million grant to support the launch of the Food as Medicine Partnership, a program designed to bridge the critical gap between health and nutrition by ensuring patients and families of Grady Health System have access to healthy, affordable foods, according to a press release. Grady leads this collaborative program in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Open Hand Atlanta and Wholesome Wave Georgia.
“A healthy lifestyle starts with diet, but it’s often difficult to get access to healthy, affordable foods,” said Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy. “I’m excited that Grady and its partners are taking the lead in providing quality food to patients and families through the Food as Medicine partnership. This is an innovative approach to healthcare and we’re happy to support it.”
Grady has more than 600,000 outpatient visits each year, and like half of all Americans, many patients suffer with a chronic illness. Poor health is often exacerbated by food insecurity in this population, perpetuating a cycle of chronic illness that contributes to high health care costs and utilization. The Food as Medicine program aims to collaboratively improve access to healthy, affordable food, ultimately improving food security and health outcomes among patients, families and staff.
“We are grateful for this opportunity to increase our efforts to address nutrition-related issues for those patients who are food insecure,” said John M. Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System. “Chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension can be prevented or mitigated with a healthy diet. The James M. Cox Foundation has a long history of supporting Grady and this generous grant has the potential to have a generational impact, as we improve the health, habits and quality of life for our patients and their families.”