Prescribed produce program helps people with chronic conditions

ROCK CAVE, W.Va. (WDTV)-- Community Care of West Virginia in Rock Cave also known as the Tri-County Health clinic developed the FARMacy Pilot Program to help people in the community who suffer from chronic diseases like hypertension and Diabetes.

FARMacy Pilot Program helps people with chronic conditions by prescribing fresh produce once a week for 13 weeks.

Physician assistant, Jenna Ward, says the idea came from a friend who is involved with the same program at the Wheeling Health Right Clinic. Warner says that she writes a prescription which allows people who qualify for the program to get $20 of produce once a week for 13 weeks.

"The beginning of the program, we enter them with a survey and just kind of collect some data," said Ward. "The whole point of it is that the patients understand and use the prescription for produce the same they would use for a prescription at a pharmacy."

Ward says the program also partners with the WVU extension office that offers people in program classes on what they can make with the produce and how to stay healthy.

"A nine-week class about eating right and staying active ways that are going to positively benefit their health," said Ward. "The things they need to know in order to use the produce well."

Ward says that the program is doing great so far and hopes to expand in the future.

"We've had a lot of interest, patients are really excited and enthusiastic," said Ward. "We hope to expand it into a larger group of patients within the next several years."