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Achievement Awards Spotlight: Main Line Health

June 16, 2023

HAP's annual Achievement Awards honor hospitals and health systems for their innovation, creativity, and commitment to patient care. The Achievement Awards showcase and share member hospitals’ and health systems’ successful programs and best practices.

This year, Main Line Health received the Community Champions Award for its outstanding project to address food insecurity in the community.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The challenge:  In Pennsylvania, about 1.77 million people had barriers to accessing food during 2020, with the pandemic adding another hurdle to access healthy and nutritious food.
  • Taking action:  The health system developed new strategies to improve food insecurity screening rates for emergency department patients while providing resources to support immediate and longer-term access to food.   
  • Results:  Within four months, the health system dramatically increased emergency department screening rates for food insecurity and identified 530 patients who were at-risk for food insecurity.
    • About 1 in 4 patients that screened at-risk for food insecurity accept a food bag to help address an immediate food access need.
  • Essential follow up:  Through a post-discharge process, social work and community health workers call every patient who screens at-risk to assist in getting them connected to long-term food resources and inquire about any other socioeconomic barriers to health care they may have.   
  • Quotable:  “The identification of patients at-risk for food insecurity has helped this Health System provide longer term support by referring patients to community resources through two channels,” the team noted in its entry.

“It is well documented that lack of access to healthy and nutritious food can exacerbate certain health conditions and lead to increased and non-emergent utilization of the emergency department,” the team noted. “Identifying and addressing needs related to food insecurity and other social determinants of health is a strategic imperative for this Health System.”

Congratulations to Main Line Health for its dedication to addressing food insecurity within the community. Additional information about this effort as well as the other award-winning programs is available at HAP’s website.

Questions about the HAP Achievement Awards may be directed to HAP Member Services at (717) 561-5359.