A new initiative from the Johnson County Nutrition Program aims to reduce hospital readmissions by providing senior residents with healthy meals after they return home. Because proper nutrition is a key component to healing and recuperation, the Home Nutrition Program will make healthy meals available to recovering seniors within 72 hours of hospital release.
The program, the first of its kind in the State of Kansas, is made possible through a $50,000 Expanding the Vision Grant from the Meals On Wheels Association of America and the Walmart Foundation. The short-term meal service will be provided through Meals on Wheels.
“This grant will make a meaningful difference in the lives of Johnson County seniors,” Dan Goodman, director of the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging which oversees the county’s Nutrition Program, said. “We’re grateful for the support from the Meals On Wheels Association of America and the WalmartFoundation as we launch the first program of its kind in the area.”
Nancy Tanquary, manager of the Nutrition Program, agreed.
“We’re very proud to have been awarded one of only seven grants in the country. Due to team effort by collaborating with others, primarily, Connie Stankewsky, Johnson County Nutrition Program coordinator, we were successful,” she said.
The Johnson County Nutrition Program will work with area hospitals to educate eligible residents about the program,which is scheduled to launch in late spring.
While the initial grant is expected to provide an estimated 37,800 meals, program organizers hope to sustain the initiative through savings generated by reduced readmissions and speedier recovery times.
“We applaud the Johnson County Nutrition Program for bringing to bear innovative ideas that will help sustain their program and ultimately expand their reach and impact in serving more meals to hungry and homebound seniors,” Ellie Hollander, Meals On Wheels Association of America President and CEO, said.