Prescription for Compassion: Baylor University and Waco’s Family Health Center


Imagine this: You go to the doctor, but
instead of getting a prescription for a bottle of medicine, you instead get a list of fresh fruits and
vegetables and workouts that, if followed, would improve your quality of life. Of course, most of us know that we need all these things if we’re going to live a healthy life. But access to exercise equipment or
fresh produce is not always a given. In Waco, the Family Health Center is
attempting to address this issue. Doctors write prescriptions for specific
workouts and particular foods that are readily available for their patients.
Right across the street from the clinic, patients are able to meet with an
Exercise Professional and begin implementing their new program.
They immediately have access to equipment and materials normally found in gyms or
health clubs — places that not everyone can afford. The equipment was donated by Baylor University,
a committed partner of the Family Health Center. Baylor University students also participate in
the Produce Prescription Program through the World Hunger Relief Farm, a sustainable agricultural and community
development organization just north of Waco. Twice a week, food at the farm is harvested… …packed… and delivered to the clinic,
all in the same day. Many patients who visit the clinic live in areas called “food deserts,” meaning there are no stores within a walkable distance that provide fruits or vegetables
or other non-processed foods. At the Family Health Center, these
healthy options are given at no cost to patients who have a prescription —
in the same building where they do their exercise. A list of recipes for the fresh food is also provided. And just like that, a new partnership for patient care helps families live happier, healthier lives together.

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