PARKERSBURG — Coplin Health Systems has joined with 14 partners to launch a regional FARMACY program.
The program will run for 10 weeks and provide patients and residents of the community with heart-healthy food boxes and weekly nutrition education classes.
FARMACY is part of an effort to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants also will receive a 30-minute nutrition education class that includes food demonstrations, recipes, and information about hypertension, stroke, and cancer.
Healthy foods and nutrition education play an important role in maintaining good health and managing and preventing diseases, Rob Dudley, CEO of Coplin Health Systems, said.
“Our goal is to help FARMACY program participants implement healthy diet and lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and manage and prevent chronic diseases, such as hypertension, stroke, and cancer,” Dudley said. “The program is the beginning of the journey toward better health.”
The program focuses on individuals 18 to 75 who have not previously been diagnosed with hypertension, stroke or cancer. Preference is given to individuals in rural communities with an income of 200% or below Federal Poverty Level, ethnic minorities, or individuals with disabilities.
To apply for the food FARMACY program or learn more information, visit www.coplinhealth.com/farmacy/.
The FARMACY program is being promoted through three clinical partners, Coplin Health Systems, Minnie Hamilton Health Systems and Ritchie Regional Health Center. Patients or residents who meet the criteria are welcome to join the program.
The program aims to create long-lasting behavioral changes through improved health. As part of the program, participants will have the opportunity to receive free health screenings for A1C, blood pressure, and weight during the first and tenth weeks. Referrals for cancer screenings will also be made for participants when appropriate.
“We know that good nutrition and disease management can improve overall health outcomes, helping to lower A1C numbers and blood pressure,” Dudley said. “Even dropping an individual’s A1C and blood pressure just one to two percentage points can mean less medication for that patient and reduced prescription costs.
The 14 participating organizations in the project are Coplin Health Systems, Minnie Hamilton Health System, Ritchie Regional Health Care, WVU Extension Service, WV Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, WV Health Connections, WVU-Parkersburg, Rural Action, Mountaineer Foodbank, American Heart Association, WV Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease, WV Office of Rural Health, and WV Center for Rural Health Development.
FARMACY is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an award totaling $243,853 with 0 percentage financed with non-governmental sources.
Since its establishment in 1978, Wirt County Health Services Association, doing business as Coplin Health Systems, has 11 service centers located in Jackson, Wirt and Wood and Meigs counties.