Establishing a Hospital Based Food Pantry for Oncology Patients in Need: Better Outcomes Through Better Nutrition

Certified PA Marlo Dombroff and her team at Stony Brook Medical Center will be establishing an on-site Cancer Center food pantry to address food insecurity by improving access to nutritious foods and nutrition education for oncology patients in Stony Brook, New York.

Dombroff set her work in a larger context:  “The Cancer Center food pantry is representative of my personal philosophy as a PA. I have always believed in looking at each patient in his/her entirety, not just their illness.  As busy health care practitioners, it is too easy to overlook the importance of social determinants of health when trying to make a patient ‘better’”.

Leveraging a multidisciplinary approach, the project will engage health care providers, social workers, registered dieticians, clinical nutritionists, and hospital administration.  Community partnerships with food source distributors, food companies, and other charitable foundations will help stock the pantry.  Data collection plans will track the pantry’s impact, provide research opportunities, and support efforts to scale-up the pantry to reach additional patients.

“As PAs, it is our responsibility to find creative solutions to remove barriers so that all patients can receive equitable health care. Progress can only happen when we choose to be leaders; I’m proud to fulfill this role as a PA,” added Dombroff.

The Health Foundation is glad to support this initiative that seeks to address food insecurity for oncology patients through the Kathy J. Pedersen Grant to Promote Equitable Care.

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