University Hospitals Opens Fourth Food for Life Market

ASHTABULA COUNTY—University Hospitals (UH) has opened a fourth Food for Life Market location at UH Conneaut Medical Center to set patients up for success in nutrition and dietary education. The Market is part of a holistic approach to addressing food insecurity and the medical conditions, including chronic health conditions, that are impacted by nutrition and access to healthy food in rural areas and food deserts. 

The UH Conneaut Food for Life Market is the first and only medically-based nutrition program in Ashtabula County. It is stocked with a variety of nutritious foods, including whole grains, dairy, fresh and frozen produce, canned fruits, vegetables and meats. Food is provided by Cleveland Food Bank, through a partnership with Country Neighbor in Orwell, and local donations.

“The UH Food for Life Market focuses on the direct connection between food and a person’s health,” said Anne Leach, registered dietitian and Director, Clinical and Community Nutrition with Sodexo Healthcare, who has worked on behalf of UH to establish the markets across the health system. “UH has implemented a preventive food as medicine model to address food insecurity, which we know, if prolonged or repeated, can have negative health consequences.”

Through work with primary care providers, patients that identify as food insecure can receive a referral to the Market for a family of four. Patients can visit for up to six months, which can be extended if needed. While shopping, a dietician works with the patient one-on-one providing consultation and healthy recipes.

To make the opening of the market possible, the Ashtabula Foundation donated $48,200. “We are thankful to the Ashtabula Foundation for their generosity and that they continuously collaborate with us in order to provide health care services our community needs,” said Jason Glowczewski, PharmD, MBA, FASHP, Chief Operating Officer at UH Conneaut, Geneva and Geauga Medical Centers. “While we enjoy taking care of patients, one of our primary goals is to educate them on the importance of preventive medicine so they can manage their health and wellness successfully outside of our doors.”

The Food for Life program is a collaboration between UH’s Office of Community Impact, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Sodexo Nutrition Services. UH now has four markets across Northeast Ohio, and the program is housed in the UH Office of Community Impact, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The first Market opened in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood in October 2018, and is located within the Otis Moss, Jr. Health Center. The UH Portage Food for Life Market opened in February 2021 and is located in the lobby of the medical center. UH Cleveland Medical Center’s Food for Life Market opened in August 2021 and is located in the Bolwell Center.

Since opening in 2018, the markets have provided a total of 185,000 pounds of food to 11,200 patients and family members. The UH Conneaut location will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only, and expects to serve 50 patients and their family members per month. Referrals will begin with UH Ashtabula, Conneaut and Jefferson Primary Care.

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About University Hospitals / Cleveland, Ohio
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 23 hospitals (including 5 joint ventures), more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and over 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship quaternary care, academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Oxford University and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. The main campus also includes the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, with more than 3,000 active clinical trials and research studies underway. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to 19 Clinical Care Delivery and Research Institutes. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with more than 30,000 employees. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit UHhospitals.org.