Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Farm-to-Hospital at Camden Clark Medical Center

PARKERSBURG, WV - Today the Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture (RASA) team took fresh, local produce from the farmers of the Chesterhill Produce Auction to Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg, West Virginia to set up an in-hospital farmer's market. This was the inaugural event of RASA's Farm-to-Hospital program, the latest off-shoot of RASA's Country Fresh Stops produce branding work.

Fresh, juicy watermelons are carted in for the mini-farmer's market inside the hospital. 

Setting out fresh produce at the market table inside. 

The market open in the morning and quickly sold out as hospital employees and visitors gathered around the bustling lobby market. Nurses, doctors, and hospital personnel went home with fresh, local cabbage, peppers, squash, tomatoes, melons, and much more. RASA plans to continue encouraging fresh, local produce purchases and farm markets at hospitals in the Athens and Parkersburg areas in the future, as well as other local institutions.

The crowd gathers around the tables of farm fresh produce.

Tomatoes, peppers, melons, and much more line the table.

First conceived of and implemented by Dr. Preston Marling of Kaiser Permanente in California, farm-to hospital models bring fresh, local produce right to employees and patients of medical centers through collaborative work with farmers, distributors, and medical center staff. These models have moved conversations in the health care industry toward focusing on healthy food for patients, as well as employees. To date, 399 North American hospitals have signed the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge from Health Care Without Harm, a commitment to "treat food and its production and distribution as preventive medicine." 

The hospital staff grabs some fresh produce amidst a growing crowd.

Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator at Rural Action Tom Redfern with the first customer at Camden Clark.

The RASA Farm-to-Hospital program is made possible by the Sister's of Saint Joseph Charitable Fund, the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, and Rural Action's many partners in the Parkersburg area food system. If your hospital would like to have fresh, local produce, please contact Rural Action Sustainable Agriculture at 740-767-4938 for more information.

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