DANVILLE — Performing Pennsylvania Secretary of Well being Dr. Denise Johnson praised the efforts of fifty Pennsylvania hospitals which have joined a nationwide effort to advertise and encourage wholesome consuming.
Since 2019, 50 hospitals in 26 Pennsylvania counties have joined the Good Meals, Wholesome Hospitals program involving services that present native, nutritious meals and drinks to sufferers, workers and guests.
“Our mission is to advertise wholesome diet … and we’re happy to associate with you,” Johnson mentioned at a gathering of hospital officers and Philadelphia Division of Well being workers on the Pine Barn Inn in Danville on Thursday morning.
On the assembly, a number of taking part hospital officers mentioned methods they’re making wholesome meals choices obtainable.
Dr. Kathy Selvaggi, director of neighborhood well being for Butler Well being Methods, mentioned this system introduced extra wholesome, domestically grown meals into hospital cafeterias and merchandising machines, and helped tackle meals insecurity in Western Pennsylvania. whom it serves.
By means of this system, he mentioned, the well being system developed a Meals Institute. All sufferers are requested questions to find out their standing, together with entry to vegatables and fruits and use of meals pantries, and based mostly on responses, are referred to the Meals Institute for training on wholesome recipes and meals preparation .
Because the program started in April 2021, Selvaggi mentioned, hospitals have been capable of monitor a rise in folks making ready extra nutritious meals and consuming higher.
“We’re attempting to unfold the phrase of wholesome consuming,” he mentioned.
9 hospitals within the Geisinger Well being System are taking part within the initiative, utilizing the motto: “Make the wholesome selection the simple selection.”
Geisinger Well being System Meals Service Program Supervisor Emily Newhard mentioned they’ve added extra wholesome choices in merchandising machines on the facility and are actually providing plant-based meals choices, together with a neighborhood vegan burger.
“We can have a brand new menu for sufferers in 2023,” he mentioned.
Good Meals, Wholesome Hospitals is utilized in 16 states throughout the nation and is supported by a grant from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Johnson mentioned.
“Hospitals do greater than deal with sickness and harm—they associate with sufferers and their communities to enhance well being,” mentioned Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Affiliation of Hospitals and Well being Methods.