Centura St. Mary-Corwin Hospital Launches Produce Prescription Program for Patients

April 19, 2022

$466,000 grant will focus on the prevention and management of chronic diseases by improving access to healthy affordable foods for more than 1,000 patients over three years

(PUEBLO, COLO.)  St. Mary-Corwin Hospital is launching a new patient-facing produce prescription program thanks to a $466,362 three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture* (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  As a part of our Vision to care for every community, every neighborhood, every life – whole and healthy, St. Mary-Corwin providers can give food vouchers to 1,000 eligible patients. Vouchers will be redeemable at area grocery stores and farmers markets.

The program, which addresses food insecurity and dietary quality to improve health outcomes, will expand food access to patients through a produce prescription program. The program focuses on the prevention and management of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, by providing patients with tools to access healthy affordable foods.

“We are incredibly grateful to receive this grant that will help us enhance the whole person care we provide to our patients and highlight our food security efforts throughout our flourishing community,” said Mike Cafasso, CEO of St. Mary-Corwin Hospital. “People in our community face challenges such as insufficient food resources, inadequate access to health care and an increasing cost of living This program will put healthy foods on family’s tables and provide nutritious meals for our neighbors.”

Southern Colorado Family Medicine at St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo will serve as the pilot clinic for this program. This grant will also provide patients with the opportunity to participate in various nutrition educational activities in partnership with Cooking Matters Colorado.

*This work is supported by Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Grant Program grant no. 2021-70030-35797/project accession no. 1027395 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.