The problem we solve: The food in hospitals is far worse than people eat in their normal daily routine. Food is also cultural and important for people especially when under stress or away from home, family, friends, pets, kids, work, colleagues, and routines. Delicious and nutritious food can lower costs and possibly even realize profits.
About our solution: A pilot program to serve and analyze the benefits of offering delicious and nutritious food to patients and their families.Progress to date:
Anecdotal from my own hospital experiences and talking to medical professionals and other patients. Common sense and science support good food = better health. Hospitals abrogating this responsibility are not serving their clients commensurate with their needs.
This is a massive meg-ton "elephant-in-the-room". We can fund bio innovation, DNA research, technological advancement, and big data to the tune of billions. However, if the opportunities to 1. Provide hospital clients with nourishing and relevant edible nutrition 2. Provide a learning forum that empower the indiviudal/famiy with flexibility and choice then the advancements and investments referred to above will, likely, be stifled in realizing their capacity for success.
Food is the original "biomed". Let's treat it accordingly.
Creator: Michael Weinberg
Education: New School for Social Research
Bio: I am a Teacher and Chef. I have traveled the US and abroad and been exposed to different cultures and diets. I myself have struggled with an auto immune, Myasthenia Gravis since 2009. It has changed my life. I am passionate about food and nutrition, safe driving, animal care and training, and education of youth and young adults.
Hospital Affiliation: Ochsner, Patient
Advanced Degree(s): Masters of Science In Teaching
How We Address the Mission of The Challenge(s)
Social Determinants Data Challenge: Use of social media sites, SMS, email, phone, and audio/video to cull data from opt in pages(existing: Facebook) or created for this sole purpose. Building a community of interested and committed clients seeking to offer their daily consumption for purview.
Access to Care Challenge: What is the best way to offer healthcare workers(and hospital clients/patients) access to self-care? Offer them quality and delicious and culturally relevant food choices. Food choice, education, and associated action are preventative and pro active and thus empowering.
Real Time Results Challenge: Access to devices/tech/portals that record and aggregate consumption can immediately sync with relevant health data culled from other sources. The immediate impact of good food can be realized. The near term and long term impact charted and realized when data is collected over longer duration. Anecdotal client feedback can likewise be tracked.
Affordable Choices: 'Good Food' does not need to be essentially organic or excessively expensive. Education, mapping, partnerships, and local and national resources that already exist can be leveraged to assist in these efforts on a micro and macro scale. Locally, The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine is doing amazing work that can be further leveraged with the correct protocol/collaboration. Ochsner continually posts on social media about healthy eating and healthy choices yet their own food service undermines their own messaging. It is relevant to call out this hypocrisy. It is our obligation to offer solutions for progress and change. There is a company MyMee(of whom I think you are familiar) who could be a critical technical partner in data collection and analysis if they were open to involvement. I am a firm believer that anecdotal data will find a new place in healthcare moving forward. Why not 'pioneer the process' right here in New Orleans hospitals?!?!
New Orleans and Our Company
New Orleans is a food-centric city. New Orleans and Louisiana have a distinct food culture and food history. If any place in the world can speak to the physical, emotional, and cultural connection to food, it is here. Louisiana also continually ranks, almost across the board, as dead last(out of 50 states) in almost every major health category(obesity, diabetes, heart disease, morbidity, life expectancy, etc.). While this is clearly not good, the possibilities and potential for massive, monumental change are clearly, here.
New Orleans is a big-city with a small town feel. The population has never recovered/swelled from pre-Katrina. It is a manageable population with only three or four major "players" in hospitalization and there are two medical schools in New Orleans Parish. It is an exciting time for innovation, tech, health, and food. I also understand the REAL world health implications of poor quality hospital food and poor food choices. I want to share my passion for 'good food'.
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