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Healthy Food in Health Care
The Healthy Food in Health Care Program is part of a broader, national campaign through Health Care Without Harm. It works to expand the network of interested hospitals transitioning their current food procurement practices toward purchasing more sustainably-produced food for their patients and staff. Listen to what Gary Cohen, Founder & Director of Health Care Without Harm has to say about healthcare being a major driver for sustainable agriculture in support of healthier communities and disease prevention.
Click here to read how a health care facility can get started, or follow in the footsteps of more than forty successful Michigan facilities who began by signing the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge! These facilities stay informed about national healthy food in health care trends and state-wide initiatives, conferences and trainings by subscribing to the program's Healthy Food in Health Care e-Newsletter.
Healthy soil grows healthy food.
Healthy food nourishes healthy people.
Healthy people form healthy communities.
More about the issue: As attention is being directed towards the obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases known as the “Western disease cluster,” hospitals have been reassessing their food procurement strategies. Health care has a natural incentive to provide food that’s healthy for people and the environment.
In addition, health care is now 17% of the GDP and growing. Practitioners are beginning to understand the link between food production and food related diseases and can utilize their purchasing power to signal to the marketplace that they support the development of a local, sustainable agricultural sector, thereby supporting economic development and improving public health.
The Ecology Center's Healthy Food in Health Care Program offers a number of starting points for various audiances within the health care sector. It also helps to coordinate the Michigan Healthy Food Work Group of the Michigan Hospital Association and the Association's most recent Healthy Food Hospitals iniative.
- Model Hospitals, or our 'featured hospitals' share examples of what facilities can do to incorporate sustainability principles into operational settings.
- The Program also tracks educational events such as webinars, trainings and conferences.
- Useful tools and resources for implemention are also essential to tracking progress and making continuous improvements.
Meet Our Program Director
Hillary Bisnett joined the Ecology Center staff in April 2009, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Business from Aquinas College. Her passion for local, sustainable food comes from growing up on a family farm in southwest Michigan and being introduced to farmer’s markets, organic farming practices, and just what fruits and vegetables should truly taste like at a very young age.
Before coming to the Ecology Center, Hillary worked as a consultant at Metro Health Hospital in Grand Rapids. She coordinated a farmers market on the hospital, which featured free community health screenings – focusing on education for disease prevention. Also during this time, she managed their healthy food pledge efforts as well as the hospitals stormwater management program.
In her spare time, Hillary became involved with the Greater Grand Rapids Food System Council. Becoming a member of the executive board, she helped write a new strategic plan, worked within its community gardens program and organized a seed and plant swap. Most recently, she completed her Certificate in Organic Gardening from Washtenaw Community College and is now pursuing a culinary arts degree.
Contact Hillary by email or call at 734-369-9282.