Prescription for Health

Our Prescription for Health Program connects patients to their local farmers market though their medical clinic. Participants access nutrition education and support, and they redeem their prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables at the market!

pfh logo for web

The Prescription for Health program aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and improve health among patients with lower incomes. Washtenaw County Public Health works closely with safety-net clinics in Ypsilanti and Chelsea to build systematic support for healthy behavior changes and to create stronger partnerships between health care providers and the local food sector.

How does the program work?

  1. Clinicians identify potential participants when patients come in for a regular visit.
    A clinician reviews the patient's chart for chronic disease risk and food access difficulty. If a patient is interested, the clinician refers the patient to a group enrollment visit.
  2. Patients attend a group enrollment visit.
    The patient attends a group enrollment visit, where he/she receives information about the program and engages in a discussion about the link between health, chronic disease and food choices. The patient sets specific goals for healthy eating, and receives a "prescription" for fresh fruits and vegetables. The prescription may be filled at the local farmers market and is worth a total of $100.
  3. Patients take their prescriptions to the Prescription for Health booth at the farmers market.
    Program staff provide individual nutrition education and support, and they give the patient $10 in tokens at each visit, up to 10 visits. The tokens can be used the same as cash at the market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.


Check out our our Farmers Market Guide to see all of the markets in Washtenaw County that accept Prescription for Health and other food assistance programs!

2014 Clinic and Farmers Market Partners:

Program Evaluation and Outcomes:good food good health logo for web

Washtenaw County Public Health staff conducted pre- and post-program surveys of patients and clinic staff. We also tracked patients’ use of coupons on a weekly basis throughout the season.

Program History:

The Prescription for Health program began in 2008 as a pilot project.  Thanks to a 2-year grant from the Kresge Foundation, the PFH program was expanded and enhanced for 2011 and 2012.  We continued to refine the program in 2013, and then received an additional 2 years of funding for 2014-2015 from the Kresge Foundation.

Media Coverage:

For More Information:

Sharon Sheldon, MPH
Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Program Administrator
(734) 544-6781


fruits and veggies

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