PARKERSBURG– Coplin Health Systems has teamed up with 14 partners to launch a regional FARMACY program.

The program will run for 10 weeks and provide patients and communities with heart-healthy food boxes and weekly nutrition education sessions.

FARMACY is part of an effort to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants will also receive a 30-minute nutrition education class that includes food demonstrations, recipes, and information about hypertension, stroke, and cancer.

According to Rob Dudley, CEO of Coplin Health Systems, healthy eating and nutrition education play an important role in maintaining good health and in treating and preventing disease.

“Our goal is to help FARMACY program members implement healthy diets and lifestyle changes to improve overall health and control and prevent chronic diseases such as hypertension, stroke and cancer.” Dudley said. “The program is the beginning of the path to better health.”

The program targets individuals aged 18 to 75 who have not previously been diagnosed with hypertension, stroke, or cancer. Preference is given to individuals in rural communities with incomes of 200% or below the federal poverty level, ethnic minorities, or individuals with disabilities.

To apply for Food FARMACY or for more information, visit

The FARMACY program is driven by three clinical partners: Coplin Health Systems, Minnie Hamilton Health Systems, and Ritchie Regional Health Center. Eligible patients or residents may join the program.

The program aims to create long-term behavioral change through improved health. As part of the program, participants will have the opportunity to have a free A1C, blood pressure and weight screening during the first and tenth weeks. Referrals for cancer screening will also be made to participants, if needed.

“We know that proper nutrition and disease management can improve overall health by helping lower A1C levels and blood pressure.” Dudley said. “Even a one to two percentage point reduction in a person’s A1C and blood pressure could mean fewer drugs for that patient and lower prescription costs.

14 participating organizations: Coplin Health Systems, Minnie Hamilton Health System, Ritchie Regional Health Care, WVU Extension Service, WV Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program, Health Connections, WVU-Parkersburg, Rural Action, Mountaineer Foodbank, American Heart . Association, West Virginia, Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Diseases, West Virginia, Rural Health Administration and Center for Rural Health Development, West Virginia.

FARMACY is supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Health Resources and Services through a grant totaling $243,853, with 0 percent non-government funding.

Since its founding in 1978, the Wirth County Health Services Association, operating under the name Coplin Health Systems, has 11 service centers located in Jackson, Wirth, Wood, and Meigs counties.

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