“The last time I checked my textbooks the specific therapy for malnutrition was, in fact, food.” – Dr. Jack Geiger, 1965

Health Leads’ vision of a health care system that systematically screens and connects patients to critical resources like food, housing and heat, is not a new one. Physician Jack Geiger was practicing medicine this way at his clinic in the Mississippi Delta in 1965. When his patients presented with malnutrition, he handed them prescriptions for food, which the local grocery store filled, billing the clinic.

Forty-six years later, medicine still is rarely practiced this way. Hospitals and clinics do not regularly screen patients for basic needs because they typically do not have the capacity to connect patients to critical resources.

Rebecca Onie, Co-Founder and CEO of Health Leads, asks, “Why don’t we do what we know we need to do in health care?” One simple solution is Health Leads’ prescription pad, which allows health care providers in our partner clinics to write prescriptions for resources like food or heat. Patients then work with Health Leads volunteers in the clinic to get connected with the supports they need to be healthy.

Hear more about our non-innovative solution from Rebecca in the video below.