Could we end the debate about health care by focusing on healthy food? What will it take for our country to address the root of our health problems? In this episode of Add Passion and Stir, two experts who improve health from very different perspectives chat with Share Our Strength founders Billy and Debbie Shore about the role of healthy lifestyle choices on our nation’s health. Randy Oostra is President and CEO of Promedica, a mission-driven, not-for-profit, nationally distinguished health care system serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Promedica has initiatives outside health care settings that aim to keep people from needing health care services. Rocco DiSpirito is a James Beard award winning chef, health advocate, coach and author of 12 cookbooks that illustrate how healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive. Rocco has personally coached, advised and fed thousands of clients who want to lose weight and be healthy. Both experts believe that prevention is more effective that treatment, and both have seen many examples of this in their own work. Randy talks about a grocery store Promedica worked to build in a food desert which offers everything from job training to financial counseling to healthy cooking classes and is changing lives in that community. Rocco speaks of the “mass awakening” among consumers and chefs regarding healthier food and lifestyles, and how food providers have had to be responsive to these needs. “Most people want to make a good choice,” he says. “It’s up to us to provide them with an endless amount of good choices.” Randy feels that our nation’s health care model is fundamentally wrong and that we need to take a decades-long view when we consider how to fix it. “We have been tweaking a model that doesn’t work. …If we could go back and change [how Medicare and Medicaid were structured in the 1960s], we would shift the balance toward primary care and mental health services… The fact that we don’t provide a base level of coverage to every American doesn’t make any sense.” He believes we need to start now to change the system into what we want it to be in 20 years. However, this will continue to be tremendously difficult due to the many diverse stakeholders in the economic engine of our health care system. How do your own choices impact your health? Listen to how these leaders have seen people change their lives and their futures by making healthier choices.
Resources and Mentions:
· No Kid Hungry: Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.
· Promedica: ProMedica is a locally-owned, nonprofit health system providing quality health care services to 27 counties in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. We’re a network of hospitals, physicians, health care professionals, researchers, and specialty clinics and facilities. We offer a full range of diagnostic, medical, and surgical specialties in areas such as emergency medicine and trauma, heart and vascular, oncology, orthopaedics, neurology, women’s services, and children’s services.