M Health Fairview's cardiac rehab program screens for food insecurity

Minneapolis-based M Health Fairview is using its cardiac rehabilitation program to identify patients with food security issues as part of an effort to prevent future heart issues for the patient, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The cardiac rehabilitation program involves up to 36 one-hour sessions for patients who have been treated for a heart issue at the health system. The program covers several topics including exercise, nutrition and stress management. Now, patients who participate in the rehab program are also asked questions to determine if they do not have access to adequate, nutritious food.

If a patient is food insecure, they are referred to Hunger Solutions Minnesota, an anti-hunger organization, that can help them access food programs.

"Addressing the food insecurity could really benefit the whole health picture of a person because we can talk to them about doing more exercise or quitting smoking, but if they're feeling hungry all the time, it will limit their ability to be successful in the other categories," Whitney Quast, the cardiopulmonary rehab supervisor at M Health Fairview, told Minnesota Daily.

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