SPRINGFIELD — Revitalize Community Development Corp. and the BeHealthy Partnership Accountable Care Organization are teaming up again, this time to tackle the issue of diabetes.
The Nutrition Rx Program provides services aimed to improve health outcomes for patients with uncontrolled diabetes and food insecurity. Since September, more than 150 patients enrolled through the BeHealthy Partnership have completed the 10-week program. Patients must meet specific criteria of the MassHealth Flexible Services program, which is not a covered service and only available to a limited number of eligible members. Each participant receives a cooking appliance of their choice (microwave, slow cooker, or induction cooktop), kitchen supply bag, diet education, and 10 weeks of home-delivered nutritious groceries.
The weekly groceries are specially curated for people with diabetes by registered dietitians and are delivered to the client’s doorstep. The groceries are culturally tailored and feature foods that promote a carbohydrate controlled therapeutic diet.
Perhaps the most empowering benefit of the program is education by way of the grocery deliveries. The groceries demonstrate how to shop for foods needed to plan healthy meals and include a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, chicken, fish, dairy products and whole grains. Clients express having more confidence to choose appropriate foods at the store so they can continue buying similar foods after the program has ended.
As organizers head into the third cycle of referrals to the program, they look forward to offering a virtual group to provide nutrition education and to share recipes and strategies for managing diabetes.