Carilion Clinic is joining more than 200 health care providers in a commitment to encourage healthy eating among its patients, employees and members of the community.
This week, the Roanoke-based health care system signed a Healthy Food Pledge sponsored by Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition that encourages providers to promote healthy eating.
“We are committed to the goal of providing local, nutritious and sustainable food,” the pledge states.
By signing the pledge, Carilion is promising to work with farmers and community groups to increase the availability of locally-sourced food, encourage its vendors to provide healthy foods, educate its patients and the community about the importance of nutrition and make annual reports on its progress, among other things.
It’s all part of a “first, do no harm” approach to preventative medicine that aims to improve the health of patients, staff and the community. Learn more about the program here.
At a ceremony Thursday, 132 Carilion employees also signed the pledge. Dr. Wayne Gandee, Carilion’s chief medical officer, said the health system was already doing many of things advocated by the program. Among them:
- Providing snack machines with healthy choices
- Pricing beverages to discourage drinking high-sugar soft drinks
- Publishing healthy recipes on our web site.
- A “Choose Wisely Program”, which identifies and promotes healthy food choices for our employees
- Matching SNAP (food stamp) dollars to encourage their use for fresh food at area farmer’s markets.
- Sponsoring the Happy Healthy Cooks program, which teaches children to enjoy and cook healthy food.
- Sponsoring healthy food classes for middle school students.
- “No Fry Fridays” – when the system turns off fryers and items like French Fries are baked.
- Hosting the Farmer’s Table at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital every Thursday from May through October.
- Offering payroll deduction to allow employees to participate in the Farm Share program.