2015-2016 Health for America Fellowship
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive metabolic condition affecting 29 million Americans that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use insulin effectively. The fellows worked closely with leaders, caregivers, and patients from the MedStar Diabetes Institute to understand and address issues related to prevention, education, and management.
The fellows and their partners co-created WellRooted, a diet management and nutrition literacy tool that enabled people living with type 2 diabetes to order diabetes-friendly meals straight to their doorsteps. The online platform offered two menus: Cook-at-Home (recipes + ingredient delivery) and Ready-to-Eat (deliveries of fully-prepared meals). In an effort to connect clinics to kitchens, the WellRooted website and recipe cards also provided bite-sized, actionable nutrition education.
In May 2017, MedStar Health announced that WellRooted was being refined and transformed into MedStar Healthy. Designed to support the overall wellness of patients and the broader MedStar community, medstarhealthy.org provided easy connections to recipes, fully-prepared meals, and MedStar wellness classes.
The program also sparked an iterative partnership with Territory, a locally-launched prepared meal service. MedStar Healthy made headlines for being among Territory's first nutritionally-focused menu filters. Although Territory has since changed its menu filters and no longer specifically points to MedStar Healthy meals, the MedStar Healthy program included a special discount to order Territory meals for several years that followed in addition to MedStar-recommended recipes and wellness classes. Territory also continued to clearly label the nutrition facts of its meals, making it possible for patients to watch for MedStar Healthy criteria or other nutritional recommendations discussed with their doctor.
In mid-2020, the site evolved to focus more generally on MedStar Health recommended recipes and wellness classes and remained a resource for the community.
2015-2016 HFA fellows: Dan Hoff, Amanda Newman, May Paquete and Jake Vildibill
2015-2016 physician mentor: Dr. Michelle Magee