All aspects of the food system, from farm to plate, are explicitly connected to health. However, our current food system favors toxic tactics like industrial farms, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and the misuse of antibiotics. Healthcare institutions clearly have a vested interest in creating a less toxic system, and also hold powerful positions within the system. The Ecology Center's Healthy Food in Health Care program works with Michigan and midwest institutions to recognize and leverage that concern.
The Ecology Center coordinates Michigan’s Healthy Food in Health Care program as part of the national campaign Health Care Without Harm. This program harnesses the purchasing power and expertise of the health care sector to advance the development of a sustainable food system. Through advocacy and education, we motivate healthcare facilities to implement programs that explicitly connect all aspects of the food system with health. We catalyze sustainable procurement efforts, create clinician advocates, and inspire health care institutions to become leaders in shaping a food system that supports prevention-based health care.
The Michigan Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) program is part of a broader nationwide initiative of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH). We coordinate our program here in Michigan with a team of HFHC organizers located in regions throughout the United States. Together we work with hospitals across the country to help improve the sustainability of their food services and develop health professional champions advocating for change within their institutions, communities and public policy. Founded in 2005, the program provides education, tools, resources, and support to health care facilities, making the connection between the health of patients, staff, and community and the food they serve.
Many health care institutions have begun to adopt practices and policies to support a healthy food system — one that is environmentally sustainable improves nutritional quality and supports human dignity and justice. There are increasing opportunities at local, state and national levels to create public policies that support the development of food systems that prevent illness and disease, help protect and restore our environment, and promote healthy individuals, communities and environments. The powerful voice of health professionals plays an integral part in this work. By becoming informed, helping to educate colleagues, peers, administrators, and lawmakers; and becoming champions for change within their institutions and communities; health professionals have the opportunity to catalyze transformations in our systems that pave the way to a healthier tomorrow for all. See links below for more information and to access tools and educational resources related to our current initiatives and campaign focus areas.
This fellowship program is a leadership development opportunity for health professionals of all types, at any stage in their career. The 9-month program aims to develop and inspire local environmental health leaders through issue and civic engagement training and field experiences. Learn more here.
Published on March 9, 2017