Department of Health Recognizes Expansion of Innovative Hospital Food Program

Pennsylvania Department of Health

HARRISBURG, PAPennsylvania Department of Health officials on Thursday joined leaders from the City of Philadelphia and The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania to recognize the 37 hospitals participating in the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program. Since 2014, the program has been working to create a culture of health by offering nutritious foods and beverages to patients, visitors and employees and promoting locally sourced and sustainably produced products.

“The Pennsylvania Department of Health is proud to partner with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania to implement food service guidelines and ensure healthier food and beverages are available daily for thousands of patients, employees and visitors at hospitals throughout the state,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “Having access to healthy, local food is essential to the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians. The commitment to provide better nutrition in hospitals across the state is commendable.”

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Health care facilities participating in the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program pledge to voluntarily adopt food, beverage and procurement standards in all areas where food is purchased, served or sold. The hospitals work closely with the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals team, including the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and new partner and The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania for technical assistance and collaboration with participating hospitals.

“I congratulate all of the hospitals that are participating in the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals initiative,” City of Philadelphia Department of Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said. “Their work to create healthy food environments helps make it easier for patients, staff, and visitors to eat a nutritious diet and helps to build the market for healthy food products.”

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In the expansion of Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program over the past three years, Butler Health System has signed the pledge for a total of 37 participating hospitals located in 19 counties across the commonwealth. In Philadelphia, 15 hospitals continue implementation of food service guidelines.

“Despite the continuing impact of COVID-19 on healthcare food service operations, Good Food, Healthy Hospitals expanded its reach into Western Pennsylvania, welcoming Butler Health System to the program,” Cindy Findley, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Pennsylvania Department of Health said. “Good Food, Healthy Hospitals participating hospitals and health systems continue to pursue innovative ways to increase access to healthy foods and beverages for patients, staff and visitors in hospitals throughout Pennsylvania.”

The expansion across Pennsylvania is made possible by the State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Program grant and Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. Pennsylvania was one of 16 states awarded the SPAN grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018.

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More information on SPAN and healthy eating can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov.

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

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