Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana will hold the second annual “Food Is Medicine” state symposium Thursday, April 12 in Indianapolis. The symposium will take an in-depth look at how medically tailored food plays a essential role in outcome-driven, cost-effective health care models.
Medically tailored food is prepared under the direction of a physician to individuals who are chronically ill with the individual patient’s specific nutritional needs in mind.
The symposium, which is in its second year, stems from Meals on Wheels’ involvement in the Food Is Medicine Coalition, a national association of medically tailored food and nutrition service providers. Meals on Wheels joined the coalition in 2015 as part of an effort to strengthen its services to critically and chronically ill individuals.
“By partnering with medical providers, community organizations, and chronic disease experts to ensure low-income Hoosiers with critical and chronic diseases have access to medically tailored meals and more customized nutritional plans, we have the potential to positively impact their overall health while lowering health care costs,” said Barb Morris, CEO of Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana.
According to a study by The New England Journal of Medicine, food insecurity is one of the top ten causes for costly hospital readmissions. With a food intervention upon discharge, studies show this number can be reduced to as low as eight percent. The problem is further exacerbated when patients are discharged from the hospital and return home to a bare pantry.
The symposium will bring together leaders representing health care organizations, state and local policymakers, elder care experts, academic and statewide advocacy groups.
- Barb Morris, Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana
- Brent Anderson, Indiana State Dept. of Health
- Lisa Dillman, Dillman Law Group
- LaRona Dixon, Indianapolis Urban League
- Katie Garfield, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School
- Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO of Eskenazi Health
- Paul Hepfer, The Health Trust
- Palmer MacKie, M.D., Eskenazi Health and IU School of Medicine
- Lorna O’Connell, Indiana Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
- Kathy Patrick, Strategic Sense Consulting
- Tom Thaman, Eskenazi Health