Pennsylvania Pressroom

The Ministry of Health recognizes the expansion of the innovative food program to support 50 hospitals

Danville, Pennsylvania Dennis Johnson today honored fifty hospitals in 26 counties for creating a culture of health by serving nutritious food and beverages to patients, staff and visitors, and promoting locally sourced and sustainably produced products.

Johnson joined leaders from Philadelphia and the Association of Hospitals and Health Systems of Pennsylvania (HAP) to recognize the 50 participating hospitals Good Food, Healthy Hospital Program.

“The Department of Health is proud to partner with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Association of Hospitals and Health Systems of Pennsylvania to implement food service guidelines to help ensure better nutrition is provided daily to thousands of patients, staff, and visitors in hospitals across the state,” Dr. Johnson said. This program and the creation of more of it that gives access to healthy local food for many people. Healthy food is an important tool in both healing and disease prevention.”

Health care facilities participating in Good Food, Healthy Hospitals pledge to voluntarily adopt food, beverage, and procurement standards in all areas in which food is purchased, served, or sold. These criteria include, among others:

· Indicates vegan, heart-healthy, and whole-grain options on patient lists

· Placing healthy drinks and snacks at eye level for consumers

· Prominently display nutrition information for foods and beverages

· Replace regular fried chips with baked items

· Promote water as a healthy and necessary drink option throughout the hospital

· Buy locally sourced, sustainably grown food where possible

· Buy rBGH-free dairy products

Hospitals are working closely with the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals team, including the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), the Pennsylvania Department of Health and HAP, for technical assistance and collaboration with participating hospitals.

“We strive to promote healthy, liveable communities,” said PDPH Commissioner for Health, Dr. Cheryl Petigol. “Hospitals participating in the Food and Health Hospital Initiative have proven that you can make it easier for patients, staff and visitors to eat a nutritious diet. It is this kind of leadership and investment that makes our hospitals safer and healthier places.”

Started in 2014, the Good and Healthy Food Hospitals initiative continues to expand. WellSpan Health, Endless Mountain Health Systems, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital (Jefferson Health), Geisinger Muncy Medical Center and the St. In Philadelphia, 15 hospitals continue to implement the program’s food service guidelines.

“Hospitals do more than treat disease and injury—they engage patients and their communities for better health,” said Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania. “HAP is proud to support Pennsylvania Hospitals’ efforts toward improving access to nutritious foods, more educated food choices, and healthier patients and communities through the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals Program.”

Expansion across Pennsylvania is made possible by a State Program for Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) grant and a Preventive Health and Health Services grant. Pennsylvania was one of 16 states that received a SPAN grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018.

More information about healthy eating can be found on the Ministry of Health website at www.health.pa.gov

For more information about Good Food, Healthy Hospitals, visit www.foodfitphilly.org/gfhh/

Media contact:Mark O’Neill, DOHra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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