At Emerald Physicians, we offer applicable Patients the opportunity to participate in ground-breaking community-based clinical research studies. All such participation is voluntary. With a large Patient base and wide breadth of community partners to collaborate with, we have a sustainable environment to conduct studies that analyze health outcomes for a specific Patient population. We are especially interested in advancing the science of preventive medicine, through nutrition and lifestyle modifications that accurately substantiate evidence-based outcomes that result in disease prevention and even reversal. Our research protocols are vetted for approval by the research ethics committee at the Institutional Review Board of Cape Cod Healthcare to make sure the safety, autonomy, and rights of the research participants are protected.
Our foremost example of this type of clinical research is FLAVORx (Farm and Local Health Alliance for Vegetables and Fruit in an Outcome based RX program), a fruit and vegetable prescription program which piloted in the summer of 2016. This Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) studied improvements in body weight, waist size, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar through a treatment that involved increasing the study participants’ access to fruits and vegetables at a local farmers’ market. Research has shown that populations with limited access to fruit and vegetables have worse control of diabetes, high cholesterol, body weight, and have higher risk for heart disease. Some projects have been tested to find out if increasing access to fruit and vegetables among low income populations can reduce body weight. Our pilot study of FLAVORx in 2016 is the first RCT research in the country that showed indications of improvements in blood cholesterol, body weight, and waist circumference among those who received prescriptions for fruit and vegetables. In this initial study, both control and treatment groups also attended free cooking classes with a local dietitian, which helped guide them through healthy produce recipes. We scaled up this study for the summer of 2017 to include upper, mid, and lower Cape regions, and enjoyed collaborating again with our local partners and farmers.
As and when new research opportunities open up, eligible participants will be contacted through official invitations from Emerald Physician Services.