Medically friendly meals and social service connections

In April, with support from the WHI and its backbone organization, CHRT, senior service leaders across Washtenaw County—Area Agency on Aging 1B, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, Chelsea Senior Center, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, Priority Health, and Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels—formed a community-integrated health network and partnered with health insurance company to conduct a pilot, called Home Nutrition+. 

Dual-eligible Medicare and Medicaid clients—seniors and those diagnosed with specific chronic conditions—were served by the pilot. More than 100 individuals were screened for social needs, received medically friendly meals, and provided with community-based service referrals. The pilot design built on evidence that links medically tailored meals to improvements in health and wellness. 

The pilot program participants experienced improvements in overall health and wellness, reductions in falls and unnecessary hospitalizations, and more. Following the pilot, WHI staff submitted several successful proposals, receiving the funding required to formalize the network and expand services to additional regions across southeast Michigan.