About the Podcast:

April Schetler is a beautiful person and incredible registered dietitian. She acts as the Assistant Vice President of Community Health Engagement at Virtua Health and chair of the Virtua Community Health Institute. Talking about the ins-and-outs of her mobile grocery store serving the neediest in South Jersey leaves Clancy in tears.

Listen:

Name:

April Schetler

Email:

Website:

Supplemental Material:

Image of the opening of the Virtua Health Mobile Grocery Store

Hospital Social:

April's Social:

Her #1 tip to improve access to healthy food:

Start by truly listening to the community you serve. Ask them about the barriers they face to achieving health and well-being, and what resources they need to overcome these obstacles. Then figure out what resources you can provide to help break down those barriers and be part of the solution!

About April Schetler:

April Schetler is a registered dietitian, Assistant Vice President of Community Health Engagement at Virtua Health, and chair of the Virtua Community Health Institute. As such, she provides oversight and direction for the development and implementation of a robust, enterprise-wide, community health strategy. She advances health equity by creating and guiding community improvement programs that address health disparities like lack of access to healthy food, transportation, and housing in the most vulnerable areas in South Jersey. April also acts as an adjunct professor at Rowan University.

Discussion Takeaways:

  • April is in charge of connecting Virtua Health, one of the largest hospital systems in New Jersey, with the local community. As a representative of the healthcare organization, she looks at ways to meet their patients’ greatest needs where they’re at.

  • Whatever industry you’re in, you need to survey the people you serve about the barriers they face. If you truly understand their struggles, you can be a part of the solution.

  • Every three years, Virtua Health is required to participate in a Community Health Needs Assessment to gain a comprehensive understanding about their patients’ health status, needs, and issues. During a past evaluation, the survey participants noted that they had trouble accessing fresh, affordable produce. The health system decided to answer the need by creating a mobile farmers market. A couple years later, Virtua Health introduced a second mobile food program - a mobile grocery store - to increase the variety of food they were providing to include meat, dairy, staple dry goods, and household items.

  • Virtua Health's Leadership has prioritized these three community needs: food access, transportation, and access to behavioral health services. April leads the food access program.

  • A key part of Virtua Health’s mission is to serve the community with dignity. Before implementing the mobile grocery store project, April asked the people she served about the variety of food and household items they truly need on the mobile grocery store.

  • April’s team treats all customers like the president and a CEO.
  • Always look for a learning opportunity. Be willing to be wrong, so we can all be right in the future.

This mobile grocery store is made possible by: 

Also, remember that sharing is caring