Washtenaw County receives national award to boost Prescription for Health program
The Washtenaw County Public Health Department has won the Future of Public Health Award for a program that allows doctors to prescribe fruits and vegetables to patients, who purchase them using tokens redeemable at local farmers markets.
The award is a new initiative by the Public Health Foundation and comes not in the form of grant dollars, but in three days of training and quality improvement techniques.
Washtenaw County's Prescription for Health initiative garnered the attention of the review board at the foundation.
The program lets local doctors essentially prescribe fruits and vegetables to patients through the distribution of tokens by clinic staff that can be redeemed at local farmer’s markets.
Though the initiative has been in existence for several years, the health department is seeking assistance to turn the program into a long-lasting policy for healthy eating in the county.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided funds for the Public Health Foundation to allocate in the form of training to public health departments that are facing “winnable battles” — like tobacco-related illnesses and sexually transmitted diseases — but need training to overcome certain hurdles.
The award translates into three days of on-site training and a featured spot on the Public Health Foundation's website and electronic newsletter.