Academic Health Centers and nonprofit hospitals are exploring strategies to meet Affordable Care Act mandates requiring tax-exempt institutions to address community health needs, which commonly include major chronic illnesses. We explore the implications of this regulatory landscape, describing methods that nonprofit health care institutions are using to undertake community health needs assessments and showing how value has been found in addressing needs through the implementation of nutrition-related Health Education initiatives that aim to prevent or delay the onset of major chronic diseases. We then share and evaluate approaches we have undertaken at Penn State Hershey Medical Center involving 2 nutrition-focused initiatives—a hospital-affiliated farmers’ market and a community garden—and argue for why such investments may be valuable assets to other nonprofit institutions that must demonstrate community benefit by addressing major chronic diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health