https://www.glwd.org/brand/connected-program-details/

About our CONNECTED Program

The CONNECTED Program is a free service for Veterans living with a chronic illness and/or a mental health diagnosis to receive medically tailored meals.

Goals

  1. Improve Food and Nutrition Security
  2. Establish healthy dietary habits
  3. Address health issues and establish healthy habits with the support of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
  4. Provide nutritious meals to support the overall health, especially for Veterans living with a mental health diagnosis, including substance use disorder
  5. Address social isolation and foster resilience among Veterans through personized outreach and community building

5 Service Pillars of the CONNECTED Program

  1. Psycho-Educational
  2. Medically Tailored Meals
  3. Supplemental Client Services
  4. Education Modules
  5. Evaluation

Theory of Change

Integrating healthcare treatment with a food and nutrition intervention supports U.S. Military Veterans with a mental health diagnosis, including substance use disorder (SUD), to 1) reduce hospital and/or emergency department visits and substance use facility readmissions, 2) reduce symptoms, 3) strengthen commitment to a regular medication regimen, 4) improve social connections. Specifically, the impact is:

  • Self-Reported reduction in emergency room visits and/or substance use treatment facilities.
  • Improve the patient questionnaire, focused on changes in mental health condition symptoms, score pre- and post-food and nutrition intervention.
  • Self-reported improvement in consistently following the medication regimen
  • Improvement in the overall quality of life through social supports in the Connected Program, and/or through outbound referrals

Program Overview

Eligibility requirements for CONNECTED

  1. Prior service in the U.S. Military
  2. A qualifying medical and/or mental health diagnosis, including substance use disorder.
  3. With medical diagnosis, there is a physical ADL requirement.
  4. With a mental health diagnosis, symptoms related to their diagnosis.
  5. An Alzheimer’s, dementia, or schizophrenia diagnosis should include a cognitive limitation

What is included on the program:

  1. 10 medically Tailored Meals per week (lunch and dinner)
  2. Caregivers in the home will receive meals.
  3. Dependents also receive meals.
  4. Ongoing nutrition support with our RDN’s

Requirements:

  1. Medical form signed by a doctor, physician’s assistant, psychiatrist, or a nurse practitioner.
  2. Referral
  3. HIPAA confidentiality form (All forms available online and can be downloaded. Submit forms via email, fax, or online application.)
  4. Must have a refrigerator or a freezer and a way to heat the food.
  5. Can be home for delivery (which is 1-2 days per week, between the hours of 8AM and 4PM)
  6. Must have a working phone, so we can contact them.

Resources for Veterans

  1. Newsletter with Veteran-specific information, mailed and emailed quarterly
  2. Bi-monthly virtual wellness meetings, conducted by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and our Behavioral Health Program Administrator. The purpose is to educate Veterans on nutrition and how it impacts mental and physical health. Each session concludes with a meditation to motivate Veterans to engage in self-care. We conclude each session with a chance to speak to our RDNs and with each other.
  3. Peer to peer, or VET-to-VET program to have our Veterans connect with each other
  4. Nutrition webinars via our Client Nutrition Education Portal:
    1. Mental health conditions and nutrition
    2. Food and mood
    3. Substance use challenges
    4. Daily Practices and Mental Health
    5. Other topics include:
      1. Chronic Disease and Nutrition – Congestive Heart Failure
      2. Chronic Disease and Nutrition – End Stage Renal Disease
      3. Chronic Disease and Nutrition – COPD
      4. Chronic Disease and Nutrition – Type 2 Diabetes

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact our CONNECTED team at connected@glwd.org.