Healthy Living: Our Plow to Plate® Program
CHA Recognizes New Milford Hospital’s Plow to Plate® Program With a 2015 Community Service Award
Wednesday, July 01, 2015 - New Milford, CT
At its 97th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) recognized New Milford Hospital, a member of the Western Connecticut Health Network, with a 2015 Connecticut's Hospital Community Service Award. Sponsored by CHA and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut's Hospital Community Service Award recognizes outstanding achievement in community service. New Milford Hospital was recognized for its Plow to Plate program.
Plow to Plate was created at New Milford Hospital, a member of the Western Connecticut Health Network, in collaboration with dining services partner Unidine Corporation, to address astonishing upward trends in obesity and related diseases. The initiative, which advocates healthy food as a direct path to disease prevention while promoting the local agricultural economy, delivers a fully integrated, healthful food service program to patients, staff, and the community. It uses fresh produce from nine local farms.
Plow to Plate has expanded to encompass important nutrition-based community programs including a "Senior Suppers" program, which provides seniors with a nutritious meal for $5; a Youth Chef Advocates program, which offers an experiential curriculum teaching high school applicants about nutrition and the food industry; an information table at a weekly farmer's market; and a Signature Dish Initiative, where more than 30 establishments serving food - including restaurants, markets, and schools - use menus and signs to communicate the importance of healthy food choices
A prime example of positive outcomes and community advocacy is a three-year study conducted by Plow to Plate cofounder Diane D'Isidori, M.D. in collaboration with the United Way. To determine the effectiveness of sustainable health education, Dr. D'Isidori measured the BMI of 148 children age four who regularly visited her practice. Data was collected over a three year period starting in 2012 ending in 2015 when the children were age six. In 2012, 13 percent of the enrollees were considered obese with 24 percent considered at risk. In 2015, nine percent of the enrollees were considered obese with 19 percent considered at risk; a decline of four percent and five percent respectively over three years of sustainable health education.