Clinically Integrated Recipe4Health Model
What we do
ALL IN’s Recipe4Health initiative is an integrative model for healthcare that addresses the social determinants of health (specifically food insecurity and social isolation) and chronic disease. This model advances health and racial equity by transforming the healthcare system’s capacity to increase access to and utilization of affordable, nutrient-rich, whole medically supportive food and to provide ongoing behavioral change support to improve the overall health of communities. Recipe4Health focuses on using medically supportive food from farms that use regenerative farming practices to improve soil health, human health, and planetary health with an equity lens.
Clinically Integrated Infrastructure
At clinically integrated sites, including Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Native American Health Center, LifeLong Medical Center, Alameda Health System-Hayward Wellness, and Bay Area Community Health, the Recipe4Health initiative uses three ingredients to improve the health of patients and the community: a Food Farmacy, a Behavioral Pharmacy, and Food as Medicine training for health center staff.
1) Food Farmacy: Patients are prescribed fresh produce by their healthcare team to treat, prevent, and reverse chronic disease, which can also reduce ER visits, hospitalizations, and medication usage. The prescriptions are filled by Dig Deep Farms, an urban farm utilizing regenerative practices to fortify the soil and grow nutrient-dense food that is pesticide-free, seasonal, and local. Food prescriptions include 16 weeks of vegetables fulfilled by “Food Farmacies,” which currently delivers food to patients’ doorsteps. Dig Deep Farms creates green economy jobs for formerly incarcerated returning citizens to work as farmacists, farmers, and delivery drivers.
2) Behavioral Pharmacy: The Behavioral Pharmacy includes group medical visits which brings together patients with various medical conditions to “move, nourish, connect, and be” through weekly visits that include physical activity, healthy food, social connection, and stress reduction. During the group medical visit, patients also have a visit with a medical provider. The behavioral group support, provided by Open Source Wellness, is currently delivered virtually and patients attend weekly for four months.
3) Provider Training and Clinic Workflow Integration: Providers and healthcare staff receive state of the art training on how to use medically supportive food and nutrition to treat, prevent, and reverse chronic disease. Recipe4Health trains clinical teams at primary care clinics on the latest science and to develop the confidence to implement nutrition interventions in the exam room with diverse patients. Staff also receive training on how to implement universal food insecurity screening, optimize CalFresh referrals, and refer to the Food Farmacy and/or the Behavioral Pharmacy.
What is medically supportive food and nutrition services?
- A spectrum of interventions that provide nutrient rich whole food used for prevention, reversal, or management of certain health conditions
- Includes any fruit, vegetable, legume, nut, seed, whole grain, low mercury/high omega-3 fatty acid seafood, and/or lean animal protein
- Includes behavioral and nutritional coaching and education to amplify the effect of medically supportive food
Recipe4Health promotes the use of medically supportive food in healthcare clinics. Urban farmers, who use regenerative practices, like Dig Deep Farms will play an increasingly important role as the demand for medically supportive food grows.