New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland Partners with Good Shepherd Food Bank
NBC News Center Maine reported on the partnership between The New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland, a joint venture of Maine Medical Center and Encompass Health, and The Good Shepherd Food Bank. Working together as a part of The Community Health and Hunger Program, the mission is to provide patients on nutritious meals so they can focus on recovery.
A lack of proper diet causes health hazards such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Dr. Evan Savage, associate medical director at NERHP, helps identify food-insecure patients who lack access to nutritious meals and provides them with food and resources upon discharge. “In the past year, we’ve identified 139 patients who are food insecure, and we’ve distributed about 900 pounds of food for them,” Savage said.
Once a food-insecure patient is identified, The Good Shepherd Food Bank works with the hospital to provide patients with food assistance bags, which are packed with 3 days’ worth of nutritional foods. The bags also include information on food pantries in the area.
The result of this partnership has improved diets of many patients, and helped to lower readmission rates. “This is probably one of the most cost-effective preventative medicine strategies that we can have,” Savage said.