Lifestyle Rx aims to increase access to healthy foods in Northwest Arkansas

The Walmart Basis and American Coronary heart Affiliation on Wednesday introduced a Wholesome Hearts NWA Way of life Rx initiative designed to extend college students' and households' entry to wholesome meals.

The diet prescription program will probably be carried out by Saint Francis Neighborhood Clinic and three school-based clinics at Panther Well being and Wellness Clinic in Siloam Springs, and Jones Elementary and Parson Hills Elementary colleges in Springdale, in keeping with a information launch.

This system goals to achieve 1,500 households -- 500 at every of the school-based clinics, mentioned Serena Munns, American Coronary heart Affiliation vice chairman of strategic relationships.

The affiliation labored collaboratively with Neighborhood Clinic to deal with diet and life-style change, one of many areas of best want, Munns mentioned. One in eight folks in Northwest Arkansas are impacted by meals insecurity, she mentioned.

Way of life Rx addresses every thing from hypertension to diet safety and gives employees help, entry to healthful vegatables and fruits and bodily exercise suggestions, she mentioned.

Funding for the initiative comes from a $250,000 Walmart Basis grant, in keeping with the discharge.

Neighborhood Clinic gives well being care to 41,000 folks in Northwest Arkansas, mentioned Amanda Echegoyen, chief working officer. As a part of the clinic's efforts to deal with social determinants of well being, the clinic affords case administration, diabetic schooling, diet schooling and affected person advocacy in English, Spanish and Marshallese, she mentioned.

The partnership with the American Coronary heart Affiliation gives the clinic with the tangible instruments to do that work, she mentioned.

Neighborhood Clinic's eight school-based services are designed to serve college students and employees however are open to all the neighborhood, Echegoyen mentioned. The clinic's purpose is to cut back missed classroom hours and scale back the time mother and father must miss work to take youngsters to appointments.

Well being care suppliers on the three taking part school-based clinics will establish sufferers who would profit from this system and write a prescription for diet and train, mentioned Stephanie Mendoza, a complicated apply registered nurse at Parson Hills Elementary Faculty.

"This provides them one thing bodily to take house with suggestions for them to stay a more healthy life-style," she mentioned.

Sufferers additionally will obtain a voucher for regionally sourced produce, booklets with heart-healthy recipes and be related with a affected person advocate who will present details about Supplemental Diet Help advantages and referrals to diet counseling, in keeping with the discharge. All info will probably be offered in English, Spanish and Marshallese.

Mendoza mentioned she anticipates this system will affect lots of her sufferers by serving to them keep away from medicines and maintaining their hearts wholesome. For instance, Mendoza mentioned she typically sees sufferers with borderline hypertension who're capable of appropriate the difficulty with eating regimen and train.

Clinics are recommending Way of life Rx to almost each affected person who walks via the doorways, Echegoyen mentioned.

"We consider these dietary suggestions and bodily exercise suggestions can serve sufferers very well to stop and handle ongoing continual illness," Echegoyen mentioned.

  photo  Claudia Aguilar (prime left), an teacher from En Fuego Dance and Health, leads attendees in a dance train on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, at a press occasion for the launch of Wholesome Hearts NWA - Way of life Rx, a diet prescription program, on the Middle for Nonprofits on the JTL Retailers in Springdale. The initiative, in partnership with the Walmart Basis and the American Coronary heart Affiliation, will probably be carried out by Saint Francis Neighborhood Clinic and three school-based clinics at Panther Well being & Wellness Clinic in Siloam Springs, and Jones Elementary Faculty and Parson Hills Elementary Faculty in Springdale. Go to to see extra pictures. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

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