Lakewood Health System Recognized With Trailblazer Award
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota CEO Dr. Craig Samitt stopped at Lakewood Health in Staples on Thursday to honor the health system with a Trailblazer Award.
“The purpose of the Trailblazer is to identify innovators that are improving the health of the communities that we serve,” explained Dr. Samitt.
Lakewood Health was honored for their pioneering “Food Access Initiatives.”
“What gets in the way of good health are things that happen in our communities, at home, and what we’re so proud of with Lakewood is that they tackled one of those significant social challenges,” added Dr. Samitt. “Hunger.”
One of the food access initiatives that Lakewood Health has started is called the Food Farmacy. At the Food Farmacy, food is prescribed and can be picked up monthly or bi-weekly and can even be tailored to fit medical needs.
“It’s literally a physical location that we dispense healthy food out of. So utilizing healthy food as a strategy for integrating health and well-being into care plans, improving the health of families that we serve,” said Alicia Bauman, Lakewood Community Health Director.
During the award ceremony, Dr. Samitt said that Lakewood offers a prime example of innovation that he hopes other health care systems can follow.
“Our role is very much to bring awareness to people who are doing some brilliant things and spread those brilliant movements throughout the state of Minnesota,” Dr. Samitt said.
“This is work that others aren’t doing. We have sort of taken the leap on looking at some of those positive benefits and how we can really improve health for the families that we serve,” added Bauman.
There have been 29 recipients of the Trailblazer Award including Crow Wing Energized, who was honored last March.