[Member Spotlight] Alexandra De Kesel Lofthus
Manager of Healthcare programs for Second Harvest Heartland, Alexandra De Kesel Lofthus knows the intersection between hunger and health isn’t tangential to improving health outcomes for those in need. It’s at the center.
Alexandra’s work begins and ends with an analysis of client needs. Her entrepreneurial team operating within Second Harvest Heartland studies how stable, disease appropriate food access and consumption improves patients’ ability to manage chronic conditions — like diabetes and heart disease. They have built a coordinated care platform that connects low income patients from MN health systems to the food and social services they need to be healthy.
Pilots running throughout the next few years hope decrease food insecurity for participants who receive a choice of disease-appropriate boxes delivered in a variety of ways. They are available in four varieties: Traditional American, Hispanic, Somali/vegetarian and one box designed for recipients with chronic heart disease. The boxes also include passive disease education and recipes, which are translated if appropriate, to maximize the provided food items.
Some of the variables Alexandra’s team will explore include box frequency distribution, delivery setting and recipient enrollment method.
The goal? Understand whether managing variables present throughout the studies lead to positive, healthier outcomes and demonstrate a financial return on investment for the provider or payer.
You May Not Know
Alexandra was born and grew up in Venezuela. Her family hails from Belgium, and she holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University.
Talk to Alexandra About
- Food insecurity
- The intersection of hunger and health
- Effectively engaging with healthcare systems
- Working entrepreneurially in an existing organization
- Building partnerships
- Chronic care management
It’s ok to question things. It’s ok to try and fail. Take smart risks. To grow, you have to challenge yourself. Challenge the system. Have thoughtful conversations, respectfully. We have a lot to learn from all we interact with.