Nonprofit Healthcare Provider Kaiser Permanente Launches Food is Medicine Center of Excellence

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US nonprofit healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente has taken a significant step forward in integrating food and nutrition interventions with care delivery with the launch of its Food Is Medicine Center of Excellence. This initiative aims to transform the prevention and treatment of diet-related diseases by leveraging evidence-based solutions to improve nutrition security for its members across the nation.

The Food Is Medicine Center of Excellence builds upon Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to whole-person care, offering targeted interventions such as medically tailored meals, produce prescriptions, culinary medicine, nutrition counseling, and programs to enhance access to healthy food. By addressing the root causes of diet-related diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, Kaiser Permanente seeks to shape the future of healthcare through its innovative approach to food as medicine.

“Kaiser Permanente’s focus on whole-person care allows us to embrace the spectrum of interventions, resources, and innovations available to fight this widespread and deadly category of disease,” said Nancy Gin, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President of Quality and Chief Quality Officer for The Permanente Federation.

The Food Is Medicine Center of Excellence serves as a central resource for Kaiser Permanente members, offering evidence-based nutrition interventions and programs to promote healthier eating habits and improve overall health outcomes. Through a multifaceted approach that includes clinical services, research, education, and community engagement, the center aims to:

  • Expand member screening for food insecurity and nutrition status, connecting individuals to resources and assistance programs.
  • Enhance clinical nutrition training for health professionals to ensure comprehensive care.
  • Develop novel approaches for providing evidence-based Food Is Medicine programs, measuring effectiveness, outcomes, and costs.
  • Serve as a research hub to share findings and establish the evidence base for Food Is Medicine interventions.
  • Expand partnerships with local nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses to improve health and nutrition in communities.

The launch of the Food Is Medicine Center of Excellence aligns with Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing efforts to address food and nutrition insecurity and promote health equity. Through initiatives such as federal grocery benefits enrollment, medically tailored meals provision, and culinary medicine programs, Kaiser Permanente remains at the forefront of the Food Is Medicine movement.

“Healthcare organizations play a crucial role in advancing Food Is Medicine programs that increase access to healthy food, particularly among vulnerable populations,” said Bechara Choucair, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Health Officer at Kaiser Permanente. “By leveraging our resources and expertise, we can deliver high-quality Food Is Medicine programs to our members and lead the industry in adopting these interventions nationwide.”

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