One of the largest urban farms sits atop Eskenazi Hospital

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It may be one of the largest urban farms in Indianapolis and it sits atop Eskenazi Hospital. It’s called the Sky Farm, and the three thousand pounds of produce it yields, heads straight to the hospital’s kitchen and onto employees and patients plates.

It’s a bit windy with a stunning view of the Indianapolis skyline, but the Sky Farm, has come to be many places beyond being a farm: a place for quiet for doctors, nurses and patients. It’s also a gathering place for friends and colleagues.  It’s a place to de-stress.

“Our focus is on the health of our community in the broadest terms possible,” says CEO Dr. Lisa Harris.

An Internist by trade, Dr. Harris believe the Sky Farm is emblematic of where healthcare is going.  Medicine is turning to reducing stress, increasing exercise and eating good healthy food, for a better life.

“The statins break though in terms of lipid lowering drugs, have a minuscule effect compared to the power of the Mediterranean Diet,” says Dr. Harris.  “It’s a diet which is focused on fruits, vegetables, fish, beans good fats, and olive oil.”

Healthy food may be a cornerstone of the self care Model, Dr. Harris promotes.  But exercise is another part as is deactivating stress.

Chiquita Motley was selected by Dr. Harris’ team to lead a cultural change within the walls of Eskenazi.  She and 199 other employees underwent 80 hours of training in self care.

Today this medical coder can bring some sense of ease to patients with the skills she’s learned.

“They really enjoy it. With the music, meditation. Music is soft and relaxing and they just love it,” says Ms Motley.

Employees at Eskenazi are becoming more mindful of what they eat.  Dr. Harris has the data to prove it.

“We now know that we’re eating 45 percent more fruits and vegetables than we were before,” says Dr. Harris. “We’re eating salads, and it  represents 20 percent of the food purchases. We’re eating 38 percent less sodium and 15 percent less meat.”

Dr. Harris is also incorporating music and the arts into the culture of Eskenazi. They too are part of the self care model.  She believes patients want it as well.

“I believe that people essentially want to feel well. And if we focus our efforts on helping them find the way to do that, they will.”

Sponsored by American Senior Communities.

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