MCHC aims to provide easier access to fresh produce and health care

Published: Jun. 8, 2017 at 7:10 PM EDT
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For patients living in rural areas, getting to the doctor or visiting a farmers market can be a challenge.

Officials at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation are trying to change that.

They have now extended their hours on Thursday's at the Leatherwood/Blackey Medical Clinic.

Patients can now stop in from 5-7 p.m.

Officials with MCHC said the new hours will help patients who may not get off of work until five but need to see a doctor.

In addition to extended hours, a farmers market will also be held at the clinic for the community to visit.

It will be held each Thursday from 4-7 p.m. until the end of September.

The new farmers market aims to cater to patients who are taking part in the Farmacy program.

The program provides vouchers to patients to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers.

"The Farmacy program is a program where we can assist many of our patients who can't financially afford fresh fruits and vegetables," said Mike Caudill, the CEO of MCHC.

Farmacy has been around since 2015 and continues to grow.

Caudill said many Farmacy participants living in the Leatherwood/Blackey area previously had to travel to Whitesburg to get their produce from the Letcher County Farmers Market.

They hope the new market will allow more patients to participate and eat healthier.

"We're expanding here because many of our patients want to participate but the distance to Whitesburg was a barrier to them," said Caudill.

One local farmer lives right down the road from the new farmers market. He said the expansion isn't a surprise because since the program started he's seen the growth first hand at other locations.

"It's really on the increase," said Winford Eldridge with Lily Pad Farms. "I think people's enjoying the good fresh vegetables."

Leaders with MCHC said they want to try and combat health issues with healthy foods instead of medicine. So far the program has helped many patients lose weight, lower their blood pressure and much more.

If you are a patient at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation you may be eligible for the program.

You are encouraged to talk with your doctors to learn more or you can click

for more information.