Tag: Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project

Social Innovation Lab (SIL)

Meet the Entrepreneurs: Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project Serves…

Meet the Entrepreneurs: Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project Serves Dietary Change to Patients

March 20, 2019

The increasingly popular “farm-to-table” restaurant concept promises diners a meal made with as many fresh and locally grown ingredients as possible. A team from Johns Hopkins Community Physicians’ East Baltimore Medical Center is bringing this concept directly to their patients, many of whom struggle with food security and lack access to fresh produce.

The Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project distributed 1,100 pounds of produce last summer to more than 400 patients with hypertension, diabetes or obesity. The organization used a grant from the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute to partner with Karma Farm in Monkton to provide the free weekly deliveries.

The Baltimore Farm to Clinic team consists of an internal medicine physician, nurse practitioner, behavioral health specialist, community health worker and a medical assistant. The group launched the organization after patients reported running out of food by the end of each month and lacking access to fresh and nutritious produce.

Kate Rediger, left, Laura Harding-Fukushima and Bailey Miles of the Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project.

Baltimore Farm to Clinic wants patients to both enjoy the produce and benefit from a measurable clinical improvement, whether better blood sugar control, weight loss or blood pressure and, ideally, decreased reliance on medication.

The organization recently received a Clinical Innovations Award by the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians.

As a member of the 2018-2019 Social Innovation Lab cohort, Baltimore Farm to Clinic is using this year to refine its organizational structure and develop strategies for growth.

In five words or less, what is your organization’s motto?

Food is medicine.

What are your goals and how will you get there?

Ultimately, we’d like to see the health care system acknowledge the importance of food as medicine by ensuring everyone has access to fresh, nutritious food as part of their medical care plan. We’re not quite there yet, so we’re working on increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables among people with chronic disease and expanding knowledge of healthy cooking methods. We hope to supply the evidence needed for payers to provide funding for food.

Why have you chosen Baltimore as your startup’s home?

We all live or work in Baltimore and wanted to address a problem that many of our patients face. Several of our team members have worked in Baltimore for many years and have seen the impact of financial cutbacks on the city. We have appreciated the opportunity to learn from Baltimore residents and communities and to work alongside a group of diverse innovators effecting change within the city.

What opportunities make it a good place for growing a business or organization?

Baltimore has quite a few institutions of higher education, as well as huge networks in health care and social services.

In terms of startups and innovation, what’s one (positive) thing that separates Baltimore from other innovation hotbeds?

Baltimore has many passionate individuals with hometown pride who are dedicated to improving the city for all.

If you could give your past self a piece of advice for creating a startup, what would it be?

Listen to the people you are trying to help and design a product that works for them after truly understanding the problems they face. Try not to get discouraged when you hit roadblocks. Keep asking questions and reiterating your idea.

What book or article inspires your work as a team?

Our team read an excerpt from “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much,” by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir, which has really helped us understand the dilemmas our population faces in their daily lives.

What innovator do you look up to? Why?

Jeff Brenner is a family physician who founded the Camden Coalition in New Jersey. He used an approach to medicine that really examined the root cause of illness and dysfunction, much of which is based in the social determinants of health.

What’s your favorite healthy recipe?

You can’t go wrong with a caprese salad, made from tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s delicious!

Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project, along with the other members of the 2018-2019 Social Innovation Lab cohort, will present their work at the Impact + Innovation Forum 2019 on April 30. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Social Innovation Lab (SIL)

Meet the 2018-19 Social Innovation Lab cohort

Meet the 2018-19 Social Innovation Lab cohort

With an enthusiastic crowd of supporters on hand, 10 promising social ventures were announced as the Social Innovation Lab’s 2018-19 cohort as part of a launch and reception event Oct. 24 at the new FastForward U Student Innovation Hub.

Over the next six months, these changemakers will work closely together and benefit from business and financial support, including funding, mentorship, office space and a rigorous curriculum to develop sustainable social ventures that impact our communities.

Each fall, SIL conducts a competitive application process open to Baltimore-area residents and JHU students, faculty and staff seeking support for their social venture. More than 100 teams applied to join the 2018-2019 cohort, up 25 percent from last year and more than 50 percent from 2016-2017. Applications covered many categories, including education, health and well-being, arts and culture and products and services.

SIL received very strong applications from both Baltimore-area community members and Hopkins-affiliated applicants, according to Director Alex Riehm.

“These teams demonstrate the wide variety of voices and experiences that make Baltimore such a vibrant, entrepreneurial, and impact-focused city,” he said.

Janet Glover-Kerkvliet, who leads the Baltimore Job Hunters Support Group, said she was looking forward to joining the SIL community.

“Through interactions with my cohort fellows and expanded connections to the JHU community, I look forward to growing and developing my work with older long term unemployed workers and sharing my knowledge and experience,” she said. “In the socioeconomic framework of our country, long-term unemployment is oft-forgotten issue that connects to many other social issues.”

SIL has previously supported 72 ventures, including Portable Alternative Crib InitiativeUrban Pastoral, Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap, and ClearMask. The ventures combined have raised over $37 million in funding, hired 459 individuals in paid roles and made positive impacts in their communities.

“The Social Innovation Lab’s structure, mentorship, individualized office hours, and emphasis on collaboration and support from fellow cohort members helped us grow a project into a company,” said ClearMask president and co-founder Allysa Dittmar. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without SIL.”

Eighty percent of the teams chosen for the 2018-2019 cohort are led by women and entrepreneurs from minority groups. Sixty percent of the teams include a Johns Hopkins University student or alum or Hopkins employee. This year’s teams are:

Ars Medica

Description: Promotes dialogue among the arts and sciences to enhance the quality of medical education.

Core Team: Javier de la Maza, Marielle Bugayong, Taj Keshav and Jianyi Nie

Ask Rose

Description: Ask Rose simplifies the way patients seek and receive mental-health care.

Core Team: Kavi Misrilall

Baltimore Farm to Clinic Project

Description: Works with local farms to provide patients who struggle with chronic medical conditions and food insecurity with fresh vegetables in an effort to reduce food insecurity and improve health.

Core Team: Kate Rediger, Bailey Miles, Jon Shaw, Laura Harding-Fukushima, Joann Williams and Brian Adams

Baltimore Job Hunters Support Group

Description: Assists older long-term unemployed workers with the social, emotional, and psychological pain that come with mid-career job loss by providing counseling, coaching, information and referral service, outreach and advocacy.

 Core Team: Janet Glover-Kerkvliet

Fight Blight BMore

Description: Economic, environmental and social justice initiative addressing the issue of blight, led by the village and informed by the data.

Core Team: Nneka Nnamdi

Happy Teacher Revolution

Description: Baltimore-born, international movement with the mission to organize and conduct support groups for teachers in the field of mental health and wellness to increase teacher happiness, retention, and professional sustainability.

Core Team: Danna Thomas (Click here for more on Danna and the Happy Teacher Revolution)

Health 3D

Description: Student-run social enterprise that creates 3D printed equipment to fill treatment gaps in health care.

Core team: Jody Mou, Kirby Leo, Chris Shallal and Simon Liu



Description: Provides postpartum doula support to black mothers navigating a NICU experience with their child.

Core Team: Ana Rodney

Roots & Raíces

Description: Social enterprise geared toward creating a platform for immigrant artists and musicians to come together to support, highlight, and celebrate the importance of immigrants in Baltimore City.

Core Team: Valería Fuentes, Luz Orozco, Abbey Parrish, Torianne Schiff, Eunbi Kim, Eean Logan, Ariel Foster and Adrianna Fuentes

 The Be. Org

Description: Youth-built social-emotional learning technological platform, using a virtual reality device and other approaches, which provides an experiential learning platform for youth.

Core team: Tonee Lawson

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