Contact: Julie McKinnon
ProMedica and the Alliance to End Hunger to Host Chicago Summit
posted on: 06/20/2014TOLEDO, Ohio, May 1, 2014 – ProMedica, a not-for-profit healthcare organization serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, is partnering with the Alliance to End Hunger to host a summit in Chicago, Ill., to broaden the national dialogue about addressing hunger as a health issue. The May 14 summit at The University Club is the first in a series of regional Come to the Table events aimed at encouraging other U.S. healthcare leaders to help end hunger nationwide through creative collaborations with various community partners.
“U.S. hunger is a far-reaching problem that we believe needs to be confronted from multiple angles, with healthcare organizations, social service agencies, government leaders, and businesses all working together,” said Randy Oostra, DM, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMedica.
“In February, we successfully launched this collaborative effort with Congressional members and others at our summit on Capitol Hill,” Oostra added. “Downtown Chicago is our first regional stop as we strive to continue engaging with healthcare industry leaders about focusing on prevention and addressing social determinants of health.”
The Chicago summit, part of ProMedica’s Come to the Table advocacy initiative to address hunger as a health issue, will be held May 14 from 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. at The University Club, 76 E. Monroe St. The event is free, and registration is at cometothetablechicago.eventbrite.com.
The event will feature an array of experts on hunger and health, including Audrey Rowe, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Other speakers include pediatrician Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator with Children’s HealthWatch; Mari Gallagher, Principal, Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group; David Dayoff, Director of Partnership Engagement & Advocacy, Hunger-Free Minnesota; and Jim Lutzweiler, Vice President, Hunger Impact Area, AARP Foundation.
U.S. healthcare costs resulting from hunger are $130.5 billion per year, according to the Center for American Progress. Feeding America found that food insecurity affects nearly one in six U.S. households. Malnutrition among elderly people, for example, increases disability and decreases resistance to infection, extending hospital stays.
As one of the nation’s leaders in treating hunger as a healthcare problem, ProMedica addresses the social determinants of health by focusing on hunger, housing and education. ProMedica also strives to improve equity among its residents overall so everyone has the same opportunity to attain their full health potential.
ProMedica worked with community partners to establish a food reclamation program at foodservice venues and some of its hospitals as part of its Come to the Table initiative. More than 70,000 pounds of unserved food – or enough for about 55,000 meals – was repackaged for people at homeless shelters and other feeding sites last year alone. ProMedica’s goal is to repackage 100,000 pounds of food this year.
Last year, ProMedica also initiated a program to screen patients for hunger as they are admitted to hospitals. When patients in need are discharged, they are given an emergency, one-day food supply, and they are connected to community resources for further assistance.
Toledo, Ohio-based ProMedica is a mission-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization formed in 1986. ProMedica has more than 15,000 employees and nearly 1,900 physicians with more than 600 healthcare providers employed by ProMedica Physicians. Its 12 hospitals and more than 300 facilities offer comprehensive diagnostic, medical and surgical specialties in heart and vascular, oncology, orthopedics, neurology, and women and pediatric services. ProMedica’s mission is to improve health and well-being, with a strong focus on wellness and clinical excellence, as well as innovative, community advocacy programs that address health-related issues such as hunger and obesity.