Policy in Plainer English

Hunger Screening - Part One

October 11, 2020 Helen Labun Season 3 Episode 2
Policy in Plainer English
Hunger Screening - Part One
Show Notes

Kristen Bigelow-Talbert, from Bi-State Primary Care Association, and Katy Davis, from Hunger Free Vermont, discuss screening for hunger and food insecurity. If poor diet leads to poor health, and health care providers want their patients to stay well, then it makes sense that we would screen for poor diet just like we screen for high blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, etc. - simple, right? Clearly not simple or we wouldn't be podcasting about it.

This episode provides background on the interest in screening for hunger / other social factors in our overall health, and some considerations for selecting screening tools. The second installment (linked here) looks at implementation, including lessons we might learn from trying new models during COVID-19. 

Some references from this episode:

  • Community Health Needs Assessments - Definitely helpful as a prelude to this episode, in fact if you have a moment, start here.
  • EHRs - This will be more important in Part 2, but you might as well get ahead.
  • Hunger Vital Sign - One thing that didn't make it into the finished episode was Katy praising Children's HealthWatch on their work with this screening tool. Children's HealthWatch has a lot of excellent resources.
  • PRAPARE - Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients' Assets, Risks, and Experiences. The Community Health Centers screening tool.  
  • SBINS from Blueprint for Health - Screening, Brief Intervention, and Navigation to Services (acronym or to-do list? This sent me down a rabbit hole of looking up the precise definition of 'mnemonic' and I'm no closer to knowing what to call SBINS)
  • Examples of other screening tools can be found in this toolkit from the Rural Health Information Hub
  • Confused by the number of different tools? Here's a backgrounder on how they fit together.

This season of the Policy in Plainer English podcast is made possible through a grant from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to plan for a rural health network that increases communication around the intersection of food and health care in Vermont.