The idea for the FARMacy program at CCWV was presented by Jenna Ward, PA-C. Providers at CCWV have found there is a real connection between limited access to fresh produce and populations riddled with diabetes and similar issues. “Our community struggles with chronic health conditions like diabetes and obesity. I tell my patients every day about the importance of good nutrition, but I felt like I could do more,” said Ward. “This program is our way of emphasizing how important it is for patients to focus on healthy eating. Their food is their medicine.”
The first FARMacy day was held on July 16, 2019 with eleven patients participating. CCWV’s Community Health Workers Kelsey Burgess and Lisa Fidler helped patients complete the pre-survey and paperwork and Ward provided patients with prescriptions for fresh produce. Patient education was provided by CCWV clinical pharmacist Nancy Bozic, PharmD, and WVU Extension Agent Becky Kniley. Local greenhouse owner Pati Espinosa, from Green Acres Farm, was on site with fresh produce to distribute to patients.
Trevor Haddix, CCWV management trainee, coordinated funding efforts. Local citizens and businesses, including A.F. Wendling, Annamarie Chidester, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Buckhannon Rotary, Burgess Mobile Home Park, Loudin Insurance, Mary Gorman, Michael Cozad, Ralston Press, Inc., Raven Rock Networks, Sam’s Pizza, the Sign Guy, and United Contracting provided sponsorship for the program.
CCWV operates health centers, pharmacies, and school-based health centers located in Braxton, Clay, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Monongalia, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Upshur counties. In addition, they operate a dental clinic in Pocahontas County and provide behavioral health services throughout their service area.
Becky Kniley, WVU Extension Agent, Pati Espinosa, owner, Green Acres Farm, and CCWV staff members Nicole Warren, Kelsey Burgess, Sean Barnett, PA-C, Trevor Haddix, Joshua Dunn, PharmD, Nathaniel Linger, MD, Lisa Fidler, and Jenna Ward, PA-C