Carey Carter, 63, couldn’t have been more excited about the newest treatment her doctor suggested – eating fruits and vegetables to help control her chronic health conditions.
Carey started receiving medical services at Community of Hope in 2017 and participates in the My Health GPS program where she receives specialized care coordination. She started receiving care at COH after experiencing too much instability with her previous providers. “The doctors kept coming and going and I wanted something stable. I got tired of always going to the doctors and it was someone new. I hate change especially when it’s dealing with my health.”
Now, after two years, Carey, who is managing high cholesterol and diabetes, said she made the right decision. “Having consistent and reliable health care has been great. My cholesterol and my A1C levels are good. It was a great change, health-wise.” With her health headed in the right direction, Carey was encouraged by her Community of Hope doctor, Dr. Henke, to participate in the Produce Rx pilot program as a way to manage her chronic diseases. “I told them – if it involves fruit, sign me up!”
The Produce Rx program is a partnership with DC Greens, Giant Food, AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, and the DC Department of Health. The program allows medical professionals to prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables to patients experiencing diet-related chronic illnesses. Carey receives a $20 coupon per week to spend on produce and also has access to many health educational resources and guided store tours by Giant’s in-store nutritionist during her visit. “My first experience using the program was great. I got so many vegetables and fruits – cucumbers, bananas, apples, zucchini, summer squash, cauliflower, pears, strawberries, and avocados. It’s so good!”
Carey plans to continue to take control of her health so she can be in the best physical condition for her grandkids and great-grandkids. She says Community of Hope continues to give her the support and encouragement she needs to keep her health a priority. “When I need Community of Hope, they are there with resources. They don’t leave me hanging – the Rx program saves me money, it’s very affordable and I love it.” That is one change that Cary was excited to make with her health.
In 2018, Community of Hope provided quality medical services with over 39,000 visits to our neighbors, like Carey Carter, while building important “food as medicine” partnerships, such as the Produce Rx program, Arcadia Mobile Markets, and Martha’s Table to achieve exceptional health outcomes. We have three Federally Qualified health centers where we provide a host of patient-centered services such as primary medical care and chronic disease care. Without access to preventative health care, manageable health problems can become health crises with long-term consequences.
For more information about Community of Hope health services, please visit our website at https://www.communityofhopedc.org/healthcare/services.
You can also learn more about our 2018 Impact here - https://www.communityofhopedc.org/news-events/publications.