When a patient at M Health Fairview can’t afford food, Mang Vang can help

The hospital believes the program is the first food-specific, one-on-one navigator model in Minnesota. But it’s part of an expanding health effort to go beyond offering simple health literature, said Dr. Diana Cutts, a pediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare and a nationally recognized expert in the health impacts of food insecurity. (Dr. Cutts is not involved in the M Health Fairview effort.)

“We have learned, painfully, that giving families a printout sheet or pamphlet isn’t enough. Way too many don’t make the connections that we’d hoped they might,” Dr. Cutts said.