Produce Rx
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Produce Rx

Fresh Produce Prescription Program

As a result of the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Farmers' Market we launched a program in 2014 called Fresh Produce Rx (FPRx). The pilot began in collaboration with our Cardiac physicians and Cardiac Wellness program. With the help of our Cardiac Wellness Center and Diabetics Education Center, we identify patients who r
ecently had a heart incident or we diagnosed diabetic/pre-diabetic, are enrolled in Cardiac Wellness or Diabetes education programming and exhibited a readiness and desire to change their lifestyle.

Patients are selected and briefed on the program and the requirements. At program kick off each participant is asked to complete a survey to determine lifestyle behaviors (health behaviors) and a pre-program biometric measurement is taken. The core measurements we monitor during the Fresh produce Rx program are: 

• Weight
• Body Mass Index
• Waist circumference
• Blood Pressure

Maintaining a healthy weight, incorporating healthy eating habits and participating in healthy activities are known to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and other preventable diseases.

Over the course of the program, participants are given “market cash” ($25 each week) for the purchase of produce at the SVMHS Farmers' Market. In addition to the market cash, participants are provided recipes that incorporate items at the market, with nutritional information and healthy preparation alternatives. Midpoint biometric data are obtained at week 14, as well as a survey from participants on program effectiveness. At the end of the market period post program biometrics are to determine overall change in key indicators by participants. 

Thus far, our program participants have shown improvement in all of the measureable indicators (weight, BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure).

Success? You bet! Participants in the 2015 program saw a total weight loss of 158.8 pounds, a loss of 75.2 inches and a reduction in BMI of more than 27%. 

For more information on the Fresh Produce Rx program, please contact Health Promotion Department at 759-1890.