237845 Pharmacies to farm stands: Assessing readiness for establishing farmers' markets at federally qualified health centers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Darcy A. Freedman, PhD , College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Y. Omar Whiteside, MPH , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Vicki M. Young, PhD , South Carolina Primary Health Care Association, Columbia, SC
Heather M. Brandt, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Lucy Willms, MSW , University of South Carolina, PASOs Program, Columbia, SC
Jeff Hatala, MBA, MMC , SC Rural Health Research Center, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Daniela B. Friedman, PhD , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
James R. Hebert, ScD , Cancer Prevention and Control Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
INTRODUCTION: Access to healthy food retail outlets has been identified as a key indicator of healthy communities. Populations with low access to healthy foods (i.e., low-income, minority communities) tend to have high rates of diet-related health conditions and co-morbidities. Initiatives designed to improve access to healthy foods have focused on increasing food retail outlets including the development of farm stands and markets. Locating farmers' markets at federally qualified health centers (FQHC), which provide health care services to medically-underserved communities and vulnerable populations, may be a strategic method for increasing access to healthy foods and reducing health disparities. Although this method of increasing access has been utilized on an extremely limited basis, it aligns with the FQHC history of utilizing a holistic approach to address the needs of their communities. METHODS: In this presentation, we describe an evaluation tool for assessing community readiness for establishing an environmental intervention to increase access to healthy foods in partnership with community health centers. The tool was piloted with a population of FQHCs in South Carolina (N=20) representing 163 practice sites, and ultimately resulted in the selection of one rural community health center site for the implementation of an on-site farmers' market. Content analysis of field notes and reports collected during the readiness assessment process will be presented. RESULTS: Findings reveal three indicators of readiness (i.e., capacity, motivation, leadership) for implementing environmental interventions in partnership with community health centers. DISCUSSION: This partnership has the potential to significantly increase access to healthy foods in medically-underserved communities.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the process of identifying a suitable partner for an environmental intervention to address access to healthy foods. 2) Discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing a farmersí market in partnership with federally qualified health centers. 3) Apply readiness assessment process to future partnerships focused on increasing access to healthy foods for medically-underserved populations.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the study including conceptualize of design and coordination of research team, and also have extensive experience conducting community research focused on increasing access to healthy foods.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.