SMH Helps Make the Healthy Choice
the Easy Choice
Healthier options will soon be available in hospital cafeterias throughout the MaineHealth system, thanks to a new national initiative. Ten of MaineHealth’s member hospitals, including Stephens Memorial Hospital have signed on to the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) “Hospital Healthy Food Initiative.” Across the country, 155 hospitals are taking part, including Kaiser Permanente and Cleveland Clinic, making it the most expansive effort to impact hospital food and nutrition to date.
“As centers for health in our communities, we have a responsibility to provide our patients, visitors and employees with a wide variety of affordable and healthy options, which is why we were eager to volunteer to join PHA’s ‘Hospital Healthy Food Initiative’ and lead the way,” said Deborah Deatrick, Senior Vice President of Community Health, MaineHealth.
Through this commitment, hospital cafeterias are making the healthy choice the easy choice, building upon many of the healthy practices already in place. Over the next three years, MaineHealth will be focusing on creating a healthier environment with increased availability of nutritious options in the following hospitals at Stephens Memorial Hospital.
Specifically, the initiative asks these 10 hospitals to adopt standards in the following categories:
– Boost access to fruits and vegetables
– Make healthy meals more affordable
– Encourage healthier beverage choices
– Focus on preparing healthier foods
– Label foods with nutrition information
– Market healthy foods in cafeterias & on menus
"By being a part of this commitment we are able to strengthen our contribution to the overall health and well-being of our community says Pat Watson, MS,RD,LD,CDE Director of Food and Nutrition at Stephens Memorial Hospital. "We care about the food we serve to our patients, staff and visitors and feel fortunate to be able to expand our healthy practices and food choices".
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.