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Retiring free clinic director prescribes food as medicine for Peninsula patients

SAN MATEO (KPIX) — When Dr. Jason Wong fingers his sufferers a prescription, they typically go to a novel pharmacy on the Peninsula the place meals is medication.

Filiberta Rojas confronted hypertension and danger for diabetes. However the weekly free meals she’s been getting via her physician has modified her life.

“The clinic has been capable of handle and assist me to regulate every part the place now, I haven’t got to make use of anymore blood stress medication,” Rojas stated.

From milk and eggs to contemporary produce and poultry, Rojas has reworked her weight loss program via the Food Pharmacy at Samaritan House Free Clinics. She and different sufferers on the Peninsula are consuming more healthy, shedding pounds and decreasing their danger of diabetes and stroke due to the progressive program.

Medical Director Dr. Jason Wong was the primary to assist launch this system in California in 2016, following a mannequin in Boston.

“I am actually proud we had been capable of begin this program,” Dr. Wong stated.

The Meals Pharmacy serves about 650 folks a 12 months in Redwood Metropolis and San Mateo. It companions with Second Harvest Meals Financial institution and the Sequoia Well being Care District.

Low-income sufferers are available to the Samaritan Home clinics with power well being points like hypertension and diabetes.

Dr. Wong prescribes nutritious meals which sufferers decide up proper there on the clinic or have delivered to their house. Folks additionally discover ways to prepare dinner the meals, benefiting their whole household.

“That was a extremely wonderful thing about it, and hopefully in the long term, it’ll assist them cut back their danger of stroke, coronary heart assault, blindness and so forth,” Dr. Wong stated.

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The Meals Pharmacy is only one instance of how the common-or-garden physician has served as medical director for 17 years.

“It is inspiring as a result of he simply does it. He simply takes care of it, makes this occur,” stated Affiliate Clinic Director Rob Mabe. “He is quiet. His coronary heart is larger than most individuals can ever think about.”

In actual fact, Rojas will get emotional describing how a lot Dr. Wong’s helped her and her household embrace a more healthy life.

“After I got here right here, he opened the doorways and altered my entire life,” she stated. “From the underside of my coronary heart, I can say he is been essentially the most fantastic factor that has occurred to this clinic.

For creating the Samaritan House Food Pharmacy that provides free, nutritious meals for heathlier lives, this week’s Jefferson Award within the Bay Space goes to Dr. Jason Wong.

Dr. Wong is retiring at finish of June, however he says he’ll stay as a Meals Pharmacy volunteer.