Program feeds discharged patients who may not cook for themselves
The deliveries came to Susan Marsh’s front door every Tuesday: cheesecake, sweet and tangy; salmon for dinner, omelets and sausage and fresh fruit for breakfast. Salads and cheeseburgers. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
The meals prepared for Susan last summer were part of a nutrition program called Creekside Meal Delivery Service, created for a select number of Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center patients who are vulnerable to be malnourished once they are sent home. The program was funded in part with a generous grant from Gifts For Our Community, a Vancouver nonprofit.
The service was created after a lengthy internal audit in 2018 found that 28% of patients admitted to Legacy Salmon Creek are malnourished. After a small, successful pilot program last year, a hospital-wide program was launched in April 2019.
Discharged patients who receive Creekside Meal Delivery Service get four weeks of ready-to-eat meals delivered to their homes by volunteers. The menus are specially designed by the clinical nutrition supervisor and the in-house executive chef to meet the nutritional needs of cardiac patients, patients with diabetes and patients who suffer from general malnutrition.
Susan was so sick with pneumonia during her August hospital stay that she barely remembers it. But she knows she didn’t eat much. Even after she left, she felt weak and struggled to breathe.
“I knew when I got home that I wasn’t going to prepare anything,” she says, adding that her partner’s work schedule left little time to plan and prepare nutritious meals. Without the nutrition service, Susan figures she would have probably survived on canned food.
Susan is one of 42 patients who have received the Creekside Meal Delivery Service, and participant feedback indicates the program helps patients feel stronger and more independent. It’s also a reminder to patients that providers, volunteers and donors at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center are committed to their health even after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. Susan appreciated their efforts.
“It was just very heartwarming.”
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