In Dallas, an Innovative Partnership Brings Healthy Food to the Community
By La Shonda Worthey, BS
Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) was accredited through PHAB in November 2016. During the journey toward national accreditation, DCHHS identified strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. For example, we learned the importance of maintaining and updating documents in a timely manner. The accreditation process provided opportunities for staff to enhance the documentation process and provided insight into how Dallas County Health and Human Services performs. The feedback during the site visit and from the Accreditation Committee provided an opportunity to look at daily operations and evaluate strategies to better assess the needs of the clients we serve.
The accreditation process led us to incorporate Healthy People 2020’s national objectives concerning healthy foods into our community health improvement plan (CHIP). We launched the Community Farm Stand healthy food program in partnership with Baylor Scott and White Health and Wellness Center. This effort promotes workplace wellness by bringing fresh produce to the center’s employees and surrounding community where access is limited.
To measure the efforts of the Community Farm Stand, two surveys were conducted, with a total of 117 participants completing the surveys. Among the participants, 77% liked the freshness of the fruits and vegetables, 69% liked the convenience, 63% liked the pricing, and 46% enjoyed the availability. The Community Farm Stand now occurs twice a month, with more than 100 participants each week. This innovative project has shown collaboration between the local health department and community partners
In conclusion, this innovative project taught us three things:
The majority of the people liked the freshness, convenience, and pricing
Most of the people agreed that the DCHHS Community Farm Stand contributed to a more positive attitude toward making healthier food choices.
The majority of the participants had not had a recent health exam, but a small percentage noted that their glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight either decreased or had not changed.
Dallas County Health and Human Services in Dallas, Texas, was awarded national accreditation through PHAB on November 15, 2016.
About the author:La Shonda Worthey, BS, is Performance Improvement Manager at Dallas County Health and Human Services in Dallas, Texas. Contact her at [email protected].
Other benefits as a result of going through the accreditation process:
We realized the importance of documentation — maintaining and updating documents in a timely manner
We realized the importance of having policies/procedures in place according to the PHAB Standards and Measures.