More than a year ago, Dan Hoff, May Paquete, Jake Vildibill and I (the 2015-16 HFA fellows), were working diligently to develop and iterate three promising solutions for diabetes management and care at MedStar Health. One afternoon, out of necessity as we prepared for various pilots, we assigned names to each of our proposed solutions. And so, on March 1, 2016, our idea for a unique food delivery and nutrition education service was officially christened “WellRooted.”
In the year that followed, WellRooted continued to grow and evolve thanks to the support of our many partners. Initially, we offered only cook-at-home recipes and grocery delivery, but thanks to the mentorship of Donna Harris, co-founder and former co-CEO of 1776, we developed a ready-to-eat option as well. In late July, we began to partner with Power Supply (now Territory, more on that below) to offer those ready-to-eat options. As WellRooted was promoted to patients in collaboration with MedStar Diabetes Institute (MDI), we recognized the importance of spreading the word to MedStar associates for their own health as well.
Now, I’m excited to help announce another major milestone for WellRooted—a transformation that marks a new beginning.
Meet MedStar Healthy
MedStar Health is launching a new program—MedStar Healthy—that will help our patients and consumers identify healthy eating and other wellness resources much more easily.
The strong foundation WellRooted built is being refined and transformed into MedStar Healthy as our partner, Power Supply, also changes its name to Territory and enhances its own offerings. Among other changes, Territory just unveiled innovative, nutritionally-focused filters on its new website that simplify the challenges people can face in following specific dietary parameters and plans.
We’re proud that MedStar Healthy is among the first filters Territory is offering to make it easier for people to follow our nutritional recommendations. The meal criteria are similar to those developed for WellRooted under the guidance of MDI and inspired by American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association guidelines. MedStar Healthy meals contain: 350 to 600 calories, 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates, fewer than 750 milligrams of sodium, and no more than 7 grams of saturated fat.
As part of this change, WellRootedfoods.com will now redirect to MedStarHealthy.org. There, in addition to a direct link to order MedStar Healthy meals from Territory and receive an exclusive discount, you’ll find some of our tried-and-true WellRooted Cook-at-Home recipes. We are no longer connecting these recipes to Instacart given we did not have the same long-term potential to sustain and measure this feature, but I know my 2015-16 HFA fellowship colleagues will join me in feeling truly gratified to see the recipes repurposed for our new MedStar Healthy site. Feeling empowered to cook the right meals at home is such an important part of healthy living. Last but not least, the new website provides an easy connection to free MedStar wellness classes.
A Broader Platform for Health
Our announcement today is more than a name change for WellRooted. Excuse the final pun, but the launch of MedStar Healthy is an indication of just how “well-rooted” MedStar’s commitment to healthy eating and living has become. Right now, MedStar Healthy includes the three components detailed above but could, in the future, include other ways of supporting MedStar patients and consumers on their healthy living journeys. Nevertheless, the foundational ideas remain the same as they were on that March afternoon more than a year ago: Health shouldn’t have to be hard. Education and support should extend beyond the clinic. Each step counts.
Looking back, every step of this journey has been uniquely humbling, challenging, and inspiring. Our initial idea did not make it to this point without an incredible network of support. On behalf of the 2015-16 HFA fellows, now alumni making waves in various fields after, especially in my case and Dan’s, continuing to support the evolution of WellRooted, I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to those within MDI, MedStar Institute for Innovation, and MedStar Health corporate who have made this possible.
Read Territory’s full press release here. To learn more about MedStar Healthy, visit MedStarHealthy.org or read a blog post by Dr. Magee, Director of MedStar Diabetes Institute and 2015-16 HFA Physician Mentor here.