Online Program

Establishment of a Farmers Market at a Pediatric Hospital to Improve Worksite Wellness

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Emily Millen, MPH, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Megan Lipton-Inga, MA, CCRP, Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Cassandra Fink, MPH, Diabetes and Obesity Program, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Steven Mittelman, Ph.D.,/MD, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Linda Heller, MS, RD, Diabetes and Obesity Program, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction: The Diabetes and Obesity Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) launched an on-site Farmers Market to increase access to fresh produce, promote healthy eating, and model behaviors that encourage healthy weight in staff and patient families.

Approach: The two year planning phase involved demonstrating interest in a market through staff surveys, establishing safety protocols to protect immuno-compromised patients, and obtaining buy-in from hospital leadership. The Diabetes and Obesity Program contracted with a local Farmers Market manager who was responsible for bringing in vendors and creating a feasible business plan.

Results:  The Farmers Market was instantly popular among hospital staff, averaging 1,920 visitors and grossing approximately $15,000 in vendor sales during a four-hour period. Roughly 25% of sales come directly from the purchase fruits and vegetables. In a survey of CHLA employees, more than three-quarters reported eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, making them ideal visitors to the market.

Discussion: The Farmers Market has been so successful at CHLA that other hospitals in the area have contacted the market manager about setting up similar markets. Strategies similar to the Double Up Food Bucks for SNAP participants, or produce coupons subsidized by the hospital are being considered to further encourage purchase of fruits and vegetables.  A strong culture of wellness at work can have a positive influence on employee health, and the Farmers Market has provided a highly visible, convenient way for employees to purchase healthy foods and demonstrate the hospital’s commitment to wellness.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the challenges in creating an worksite Farmers Market Discuss the benefits to employee health and morale from increasing access to fresh, healthy food during work Discuss ways to incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables at worksite Farmers Market

Keyword(s): Wellness, Workplace

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Emily Millen is a project coordinator at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She leads health education classes for overweight children and families, and works as a member of the CHLA Wellness Committee to improve the hospital environment and support healthy behaviors among staff. She graduated from Emory University in 2009 with a BA in Political Science, and holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
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.