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Health Cross-Cutting Team (HCCT) Annual Update

The Health Cross-Cutting Team (HCCT) recently completed a statewide inventory of programs that support food security with a focus on programs that are affiliated with healthcare settings. The group also contributed to Vermont’s 5-year State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), a project led by the Health Department, developing strategies around food as medicine to be included as part of the plan.

The HCCT has since created a plan for group members to work towards implementing the strategies in the SHIP. This has been incorporated into the HCCT 2020 workplan.

The focus of the 2020 meetings will be to learn more about specific linkages between healthcare and Farm to Plate priorities, including providing local foods to the community. We are planning two learning opportunities on 1) food pantries in healthcare settings and 2) on how health systems work (with information from BiState, OneCare, and insurers) and what levers and arguments can be used to increase healthcare system support of local food access.. Specific projects under consideration include developing a toolkit on starting a produce prescription program and supporting existing programs to gather health metric data, among other ideas. The information gleaned from these conversations and tools created by these projects will in turn be used to advance the goal from the SHIP of building support in the healthcare system for food as medicine.

With four years under our belt as a cross cutting team, members have coalesced around key synergies between the healthcare system and farm to plate priorities.

- Ashwinee Kulkarni & Jane Kolodinsky, Group Chairs