Staples, MN — In recognition of winning a 2015 Bush Prize for Community Innovation, this grant will advance this organization's charitable mission
Lakewood Health System harnesses its size and agility to inspire innovations that lead to a healthier, economically stronger region. With an emphasis on investing in mission rather than financial gain, Lakewood Health System encourages all levels of staff to share ideas to improve the health and well-being of patients and the community.
When a recent assessment found that food insecurity was a serious issue in the community, Lakewood Health System brought a number of organizations together to collaborate on effective solutions. The partnership piloted the Choose Health program: a first-of-its-kind initiative that makes healthy, locally grown foods more accessible through physician-prescribed community sustained agriculture shares (CSAs). Participating individuals and families pick up their weekly CSAs at Lakewood Health Systems-sponsored farmers markets. While spending time at the markets, participants can also take cooking classes, build relationships and increase their social capital.
Lakewood Health Systems and its innovative partnership model leverages knowledge and resources from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Choose Health is one of several regional initiatives that is growing the local food economy and increasing access to healthy food options for disadvantaged populations.