Carthage Area Hospital partnered with a local co-op to integrate healthy, fresh, homegrown food into patients and employees daily meals. By incorporating local produce into the hospital's daily menu, providing nutritional counseling, and offering cooking classes, Carthage Area Hospital is improving overall quality of life and combatting obesity and other health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure—all of which aligns with the Department of Health's Population Health initiative.
The co-op collaborates with over six Amish families to meet the hospital's demands, and more farmers are anticipated to join the co-op in the future. In addition to the Farm-to-Table program, a farmer's market is held in the hospital's former lobby every week to accommodate employees and other community members who are unable to attend the local Carthage Farmer's Market.
Benefits to the hospital are threefold: it improves the overall patient experience; supports local farmers; and promotes healthy eating and better health outcomes.