The Massachusetts Food is Medicine State Plan
In a small but growing number of cases, Food is Medicine interventions are becoming integrated into holistic, patient-centered models of care for individuals with complex chronic illnesses. While Massachusetts has an impressive number of pioneering programs and providers that are working together in innovative ways to ensure that people living with serious illness have the specific nutrition they need to heal and thrive, these interventions are not evenly available across the state.
1. Assess the need for Food is Medicine Interventions
Examine the town-level burden of food insecurity, vehicle access, and diet-related chronic diseases across MA to help stakeholders identify high-priority areas for Food is Medicine efforts.
2. Examine the access to Food is Medicine Interventions
Gather information regarding the reach and availability of these interventions, screening and referral practices, and financial engagement of insurers.
3. Develop a strategy to increase access and capacity of Food is Medicine interventions to meet need
Identify sustainable funding models for Food is Medicine and opportunities for replication or expansion.
In order to ensure that each step of the Food is Medicine State Plan process was grounded in the needs, capacity, and expertise of stakeholders, our data gathering, analysis, and strategic plan development were guided by a multi-sector Planning Council. The Planning Council consists of over forty representatives from health care systems, health insurers, community-based organizations, academic programs, and advocacy organizations from across the state.
Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAS
American Heart Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA Foundation
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan
Boston Medical Center
Boston Public Health Commission
Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
Cape Cod Healthcare
Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI)
Commonwealth Care Alliance
Community Health Center of Franklin County
Elder Services of Merrimack Valley
Emerald Physician Services
The Food Bank of Western MA
Greater Boston Food Bank
Harvard School of Public Health
Health Care Without Harm
Krupp Family Foundation
Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative
Massachusetts Food Systems Collaborative
Massachusetts League of Community Health
Massachusetts Medical Society
Mayor’s Office of Food Access, Boston
Meals on Wheels America
Minuteman Senior Services
New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO)
The Open Door
Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
University of Massachusetts Medical School
University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center
In addition to conferring regularly with the Planning Council, the Food is Medicine State Plan initiative sought input and feedback on the recommendations in this report from relevant state agencies whenever possible.
THANK YOU TO OUR FUNDERS