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NewYork-Presbyterian is Working with Feeding Westchester to Provide At-Risk Families with Healthy Food

By Josefa Paganuzzi, Thompson & Bender for NYP-Lawrence Hospital

Nov. 25, 2020: NewYork-Presbyterian is working with Feeding Westchester to provide at-risk families in Peekskill and Mt. Vernon with healthy food. The two organizations launched the Food Farmacy Program this month, which provides bags of nourishing, healthy food and staples to 120 area families. The 20-pound bag includes whole grains, low-sodium and low-sugar shelf-stable products, and fresh produce.  

NewYork-Presbyterian’s Food Farmacy Program is a prevention program that addresses food insecurity to help improve health outcomes. Individuals with nutritional needs are referred to the program by a health provider for supplemental foods that best promote health, prevent future illness, and manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. 

In addition to receiving the healthy food items, participants will receive ongoing nutrition education and access to resources to assist them in working towards food security. The pilot program runs through the spring, with a goal to become a permanent program for both NYP hospitals.  

NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital is facilitating the food distribution program with Sun River Health in Peekskill, and NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital is working with the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center. Additionally, the NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Hudson Valley and Westchester neighborhood offices will identify their patients who are experiencing food insecurity from NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital and refer them to one of the programs. 

“NewYork-Presbyterian is deeply committed to improving the health and well-being of our patients, our neighbors, and all the communities we serve in Westchester County,” said Michael Fosina, MPH, FACHE, President, NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital. “We are thrilled to work with Feeding Westchester to offer this innovative program in areas that have been hard hit as a result of the pandemic.” 

The Food Farmacy Program was created to provide nutritional food resources to help those experiencing food insecurity. It is changing the conversation that providers are having with their patients and underscoring the connection between social determinants of health – such as access to housing, transportation, and food – and health outcomes. 

Stacey Petrower, President, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, added, “Food insecurity was a very real issue in Westchester County even before COVID-19 struck. We are focused on helping alleviate this problem and are proud to take part in this effort to keep our community members healthy through the food and nutrition education services provided by the Food Farmacy Program.”   

Karen C. Erren, President & CEO, Feeding Westchester, said, “Collaborating with NewYork-Presbyterian supports Feeding Westchester’s mission to end hunger, improve nutrition and health, and connect people to the resources they need. Together our organizations will provide the resources to help these communities address food insecurity and improve the quality of people’s diets. Feeding Westchester’s prescriptive pantry program is intended to improve the health outcomes of our clients with food-related health challenges.” 

Allison Dubois, Executive Vice President  & COO, Sun River Health, stated, “At our Peekskill Sun River (formerly HRHCare) site, we are so pleased to be working with  NewYork-Presbyterian and Feeding Westchester to launch this program that focuses on our patients, including adults with diabetes. As a federally qualified health center, Sun River has a long history focusing on whole person care and wellness, and we are excited to offer these health promotion services and screenings throughout the year to address the social determinants of health.”   

Judith Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center remarked, “What could be more important than addressing food insecurity for the most vulnerable during these unprecedented times. The Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center is humbled and pleased to work with NewYork-Presbyterian on this worthwhile endeavor.” 

Photos courtesy Feeding Westchester


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

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The Maxwell Institute also offers community education services through its programs in drug and alcohol prevention in the schools. For persons wishing to become credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselors (CASACS) in New York State, the "Maxtrain" program provides the 350 classroom education hours that are an important part of the credentialing requirements.

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In July 2014, Lawrence Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital established a new relationship aimed at enhancing care, improving access and lowering health care costs for residents of Bronxville and surrounding communities in Westchester County. Lawrence was renamed NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital.

Lawrence Hospital Center was founded in 1909 and is a 291-bed acute care facility with over 1100 employees and 400 physicians. It provides emergency care to approximately 35,000 individuals every year.   It became a designated New York State Stroke Center in 2006.  Its physicians provide expertise in virtually every area of medical specialty and include over 100 primary care physicians. And, Lawrence delivers about 2000 babies every year in the home-like setting of newly designed Labor and Delivery recovery rooms.

Outpatient services include diagnostic testing and laboratory services, ambulatory surgery options, and rehabilitation and sports medicine services. The Hospital has a Women`s Imaging Center where female patients receive diagnostic services in a private setting. Outpatient physical therapy, lymphedema therapy, speech and occupational therapy services are provided both on-site at the Hospital and at Lawrence`s satellite center, The Center for Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, in Scarsdale.

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