Category Archives: Fresh food financing
Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:
Women who had attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as girls are more likely to hurt themselves or attempt suicide, compared to those who did not have ADHD, according to a longitudinal study led by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD. More than half of the girls, ages 6 to 12, who were tracked by the study were reported to have engaged in self-injurious behavior, and more than one-fifth had attempted suicide, United Press International reports. Among the other outlets to report on the findings: Health Day, MediLexicon, Health Canal, and Science Daily.
The New York Times interviewed RWJF Clinical Scholars alumna Comilla Sasson, MD, MS, and others who were working at the University of Colorado Hospital the night of the shootings at an Aurora movie theater. Sasson’s team treated 23 patients, and every patient who arrived at the hospital with a pulse survived. “We went into emergency medicine because we know it’s crazy—you never know what’s going to come through the door,” she said. “But the thing none of us have gotten over is, we made it through. We really, truly shined [that night].” Read a post Sasson wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the experience.
RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Physician Faculty Scholar Rebecca Sudore, MD, continues to receive media coverage for a study she led that finds almost half of adults with type 2 diabetes experience acute and chronic pain. “Palliative care has already begun to be woven into the care provided to patients with cancer, heart failure and kidney failure,” Sudore told Health Day. “Our results highlight the need to expand diabetes management to also include the palliative care model.”
RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, spoke to NBC News about a study conducted by researchers in England that finds “some terminally ill children experience unnecessary treatment and prolonged suffering because their parents believe they will experience a ‘miracle cure.’” These situations occur rarely, Rushton says, and “it takes time to evolve and fully understand every perspective and rationale. The process should take seriously the implications of overruling parents’ deeply held religious viewpoints, and include sufficient safeguards that are fair and balanced.”
Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholars program and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, is lead author of a study published online this week by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It finds Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants redeem their benefits at higher rates at farmers’ markets when there are more vendor-operated wireless point-of-sale terminals. Read the study and listen to the authors talk about the findings.
Human Capital Blog: Why is it important that SNAP (food stamp) participants are able to get food at farmers’ markets? Why should we want redemption rates to increase?
Alison Buttenheim: There’s been a lot of research into the quality of diets for SNAP participants and it’s pretty clear that there’s room for improvement. They often don’t have access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables and other healthy food options. We’ve seen considerable policy interest in how we might change the diets of this population. One approach has been to focus on individual behavior change, but more recently there’s also been a focus on changing the food environment to increase access to healthy food in underserved neighborhoods, in the hopes that this will encourage better diets.
HCB: Why are SNAP redemption rates lower at farmers’ markets?
Buttenheim: Food assistance used to be paper coupons that you literally tore off and handed over to vendors, which made it quite easy. Now SNAP is all electronic, and participants get a card—like a credit card—that they use to redeem their benefits. Brick-and-mortar stores that participate in the SNAP program get a free point-of-sale terminal to process these transactions, and fees associated with the transactions are subsidized. But farmers’ markets rely on third party providers to supply wireless terminals and process transactions, and these providers of course charge wireless service fees and transaction fees. It’s costly. In 2009, only 900 of the 5,200 farmers’ markets in the country participated in SNAP.
As we head into 2012, the Human Capital Blog asked Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff, program directors, scholars and grantees to share their New Year’s resolutions for our health care system, and what they think should be the priorities for action in the New Year. This post is by Suzanne Gagnon, CFNP, RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Fellow, RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico.
I live, work and study in a state that has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. It is difficult for me as a nurse practitioner to focus my New Year’s resolution on the health care system. Yes there are health care system problems and complicated ones, but I cannot remove my gaze from the impact of abject poverty and its effects on health. Until New Mexico addresses its poverty, health care will continue to be a trailer indicator, not a primary factor for the state’s overall impact on quality of life.
I work at a School-Based Health Center in a low-income area high school in Albuquerque. I have many patients who have no other means of receiving health care due to immigration status or income-related constraints. I had a student last year who had just moved to New Mexico from another state and wondered why the amount of food stamp assistance he and his mother received was so little in comparison to his previous state. He says: “I’m so hungry all the time, I can never get enough to eat, we don’t have enough to last all month. Why is it like that here?”
We are failing our children and families in fundamental ways. I cannot supply that child with enough food by making changes in the health care system, but eventually the effects of his hunger and poverty will affect the health care system. Currently his poverty and hunger are making a huge impact on his ability to succeed as a student. Elizabeth Bradley and Lauren Taylor nailed this topic in their December 8, 2011 New York Times article, ‘To Fix Health, Help the Poor.’ They pointed out the differences between our country’s investment in health care versus social support. While we spend one dollar on health care and 90 cents on social services, other countries spend the same for health care but double that for social services. Investing in social services can do more to improve health than additional health care reforms.
A December 29, 2011 op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal by Angela Merkert and Wendy Wintermute, respectively the executive director and advocacy program director of Cuidando Los Ninos and A Home for Every Child, lists the staggering statistics that impact our state’s homeless population: