In January 2015, CMBM began a comprehensive training program in self-care, stress-reduction, mind-body medicine, nutrition, exercise, and group support for 200 committed Eskenazi Health System employees (Wellness Champions). The program combines our signature Mind-Body Medicine and Food As Medicine curricula. An integral part of this curricula included working with Lisa Harris, MD, CEO of Eskenazi Health, and the Eskenazi Health Food & Nutrition Services team to make healthful, delicious food an essential part of everyday life for all staff and patients.
CMBM has trained 350 clinicians and staff at Indianapolis’s Eskenazi Health, one of the U.S.’s five largest safety-net systems. They, in turn, have brought CMBM’s model of self-care and group support to the 4,500 EH employees, as well as the more than 100,000 mostly aging and low-income people whom EH serves. CMBM’s program has increased EH staff participation in health-promoting lifestyles, as well as perceived stress and secondary traumatic stress. EH employee healthcare costs, which were increasing by 5% a year, were, after two years of partnership with CMBM, only increasing by 1% a year. In its comprehensive partnership, CMBM guided EH in completely revamping its food services to provide locally grown, high quality, healthy, affordable food to all patients, staff, and visitors. High levels of patient and staff satisfaction followed, and EH had a 400% increase in revenue from EH’s cafeterias and cafes.
As the EH-CMBM partnership unfolded, Dr. Harris integrated CMBM’s model throughout Indianapolis’s community mental health system, where use of the model with depressed inner-city teenagers demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in depression, suicidal ideation, and rumination as well as a significant increase in self-efficacy and mindfulness. EH and CMBM co-created Food as Medicine for Everyone are currently bringing the program to the entire city of Indianapolis, training key personnel in public schools and police and corrections departments, as well as clergy and leaders from community-based organizations.
The health system, which has nearly one million outpatient visits each year, remains committed to actively encouraging patient participation and collaboration between its EH and CMBM, once again with the support of the Simon Foundation.
The Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health’s Program for Central Indiana’s Depressed Children and Adults was made possible, in a large part, by the generosity of the Herbert Simon Family Foundation.