Two of Jefferson County’s largest hospital, Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge and St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood were recognized for their efforts to promote healthy living.
The two hospitals joined the Colorado Health Hospital Compact …
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The two hospitals joined the Colorado Health Hospital Compact and were hailed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) on Nov. 14 for electing to take part in a dedicated effort to improve nutrition for patients, families and staff at their hospitals.
“We are committed to making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation, said Dr. Larry Wolk, CDPHE executive director during the Nov. 14 event. “Working with hospital partners statewide to make sure their patients and families, visitors and staff have healthy food and drink choices is just one of the ways we are turning back the tide of obesity.”
Compact members agree to promote healthy food and beverage options in cafeterias, vending machines, and patient menus, and support new moms with breastfeeding, according to provided information.
The Compact hospitals choose programs to implement and are recognized for what they achieve within a comprehensive set of standards, including a healthy food and beverage program, new marketing programs and providing trained staff members to help mothers breastfeed their babies in the hospital and refer them to lactation support services upon discharge.
Corina Lindley, Mountains and North Denver Operating Group Vice President of Community Health and Values Integration at St. Anthony, said that working with the hospital’s food provider to bring healthy choices to patients was key to the program’s success.
“When the food champion is the chef it makes the work a lot easier,” she said. “We’re happy to be one of the first hospitals to join the fight against sweetened beverages.”
The compact allows the hospitals to work with state and local health departments and other Colorado hospitals to implement the best practices in hospital nutrition and breastfeeding support.
“We feel strongly that Lutheran plays a leadership role in working to improve the health of our community we serve and not only in caring for the sick,” said Grant Wicklund, Lutheran’s president and CEO, in a statement. “We’ve made terrific process with other programs, such as tobacco cessation and weight loss, and we know that sugary drinks contribute greatly to obesity in Colorado and across the country. This is another positive step we are taking toward improved health and wellness in our community.”
The participating hospitals will continue to work on these issues moving forward, and are looking ahead to new growth and changes.
“We’re very happy to be part of this group,” Lindley said. “We know that shifting this kinds of cultural norms is made up of more small steps than drastic.”
For more information on the Colorado Hospital Compact go to www.colorado.gov/cdphe/healthy-hospital-compact.
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