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Hospitals Recognized as Healthy Food Leaders

September 27, 2021

Thirty-seven Pennsylvania hospitals are being recognized for their leadership in offering more nutritious and locally sourced meals to patients, visitors, and staff through an initiative supported by HAP.

Leaders from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) honored participants in the Good Food, Healthy Hospitals (GFHH) initiative during the program’s recent annual meeting. HAP administers GFHH, which is funded by DOH—in partnership with PDPH—through the State Physical Activity and Nutrition grant and Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The program began in Philadelphia through PDPH and, through HAP’s leadership, has expanded to other regions of the state. Most recently, Butler Health System announced it will bring the program to its hospitals in 19 western Pennsylvania counties.

“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,” said Cindy Findley, DOH deputy secretary for health promotion and disease prevention. “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.”

GFHH participants adopt food and beverage standards based on existing evidence-based guidelines that aim to improve community health and reduce the costs associated with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The focus on hospital nutrition serves as a model for other community institutions and employers to explore, as well.

Strategies include purchasing, positioning, pricing, and promotion of healthier choices in patient meals, cafeteria and catering services, and vending. Participants are also adopting innovative solutions to:

  • Emphasize locally grown produce through hospital food service operations and integrate local produce into health care
  • Expand options for fresh and healthy food choices
  • Reduce or eliminate high-fat and high-sugar foods
  • Provide education about the relationship between food, our food system and our health and well-being

HAP supports Pennsylvania’s hospitals as they promote health and nutrition and is proud to help expand the GFHH initiative throughout the commonwealth.

For more information about GFHH, contact Beth Murray, HAP’s readmissions project manager.