fresh-produceAngela Reid looks at the glass half full. “That comes from my faith and trusting God for my everything,” the Silver Spring, Md., resident says. This isn’t what you’d expect from a woman who just finished six months of chemotherapy. Keeping her glass—and her pantry—full these days are weekly deliveries of fruit and vegetables, courtesy of a program at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital that helps recently discharged patients eat healthier. “I love to cook healthy food, so I really appreciate it,” says Reid, 56, a member of Wheaton Seventh-day Adventist. “And because of the cancer, I’m limiting the toxins that go into my body by eating fresh, organic food.”

Battling Cancer

Reid had a clean mammogram in March 2015, around the time of her annual physical with her primary care doctor, Proshat Nikou, MD, with Adventist Medical Group. But in June 2015, she felt a lump in her breast. A biopsy done at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Breast Center by Cynthia Plate, MD, a breast surgeon, showed Reid had stage 1 breast cancer. Dr. Plate performed Reid’s mastectomy at Washington Adventist Hospital in October 2015, and shortly after Reid began chemotherapy with Alida Espinoza, MD, a medical oncologist.

Help at Home

When Reid returned home, Victoria Anisu, RN, a transitional care nurse with the hospital, helped manage her care with phone calls and visits. Anisu arranged for Reid to participate in Washington Adventist Hospital’s Prescription Produce Program, which delivers free produce weekly to patients who qualify and could benefit from a healthy diet at home. The combination of Reid’s chemotherapy and diabetes made her a candidate for the program. “Providing patients with fresh fruits and vegetables, delivered right to their front door, allows the health care team to partner with our patients in their care and ensure that they have access to proper nutrition, allowing them to be successful in managing their health,” says Katherine Barmer, RN, director of population health management at Adventist HealthCare.

The Prescription Produce Program is made possible by a partnership with Hungry Harvest, a Maryland-based company that recovers and sells produce that might otherwise be wasted.

“I look forward to getting the fresh food every week,” Reid says. “I steam the vegetables or put them in a soup, even if I’ve never had it before. I get to try lots of new vegetables and fruits. They even send you a recipe with the box every week.”


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