Date

March 2018

Start Date

9-3-2018 8:00 AM

Document Type

Poster

Description

The prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing at an alarming rate globally. About half of adults in the USA have a chronic condition (CDC 2009). Disparities in chronic diseases prevalence based on race, ethnicity and residence have been well document. Many of these diseases are a result of poor access to health care, behavioral risk factors, family history and other socio-economic determinants. In Worcester, Massachusetts, inner-city residents seem to suffer disproportionally from chronic diseases. Chronic diseases management emphasizes treatment of symptoms, dietary and lifestyle changes, and daily self-management practices. Self-management is challenging for vulnerable populations because of their burdening daily life struggles. To overcome these challenges, we need approaches, which incorporate disease management into patients' everyday routines. This is the mission of the Healing Garden Institute (HGI), a non-profit organization in Worcester, whose goal is to support inner-city residents with chronic disease management, by implementing year-round indoor and outdoor gardens, which are affordable and low-maintenance. Most patients with chronic disease know what diet guidelines they should follow. However, accessing fresh organic vegetables, herbs, and medicinal foods is challenging, as most of them live in rental properties. The HGI helps such patients to establish porch-, window-, and kitchen gardens. HGI also offers community health education workshops, which are based on findings from its collaborative research with local and international colleges. Our approach is empowering because it gives patients a sense responsibility to manage their disease. It also diminishes the impacts of the socio-environmental factors that cause poor health conditions.

Keywords

chronic diseases, disease management, Healing Garden Institute, gardens, medicinal foods

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Mar 9th, 8:00 AM

The Healing Garden Institute (HGI): Promoting an integrated approach to disease management for vulnerable inner-city communities of Worcester, MA

The prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing at an alarming rate globally. About half of adults in the USA have a chronic condition (CDC 2009). Disparities in chronic diseases prevalence based on race, ethnicity and residence have been well document. Many of these diseases are a result of poor access to health care, behavioral risk factors, family history and other socio-economic determinants. In Worcester, Massachusetts, inner-city residents seem to suffer disproportionally from chronic diseases. Chronic diseases management emphasizes treatment of symptoms, dietary and lifestyle changes, and daily self-management practices. Self-management is challenging for vulnerable populations because of their burdening daily life struggles. To overcome these challenges, we need approaches, which incorporate disease management into patients' everyday routines. This is the mission of the Healing Garden Institute (HGI), a non-profit organization in Worcester, whose goal is to support inner-city residents with chronic disease management, by implementing year-round indoor and outdoor gardens, which are affordable and low-maintenance. Most patients with chronic disease know what diet guidelines they should follow. However, accessing fresh organic vegetables, herbs, and medicinal foods is challenging, as most of them live in rental properties. The HGI helps such patients to establish porch-, window-, and kitchen gardens. HGI also offers community health education workshops, which are based on findings from its collaborative research with local and international colleges. Our approach is empowering because it gives patients a sense responsibility to manage their disease. It also diminishes the impacts of the socio-environmental factors that cause poor health conditions.

 

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