'Red Apple' status received as part of a statewide Healthy Food in Hospitals initiative
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) has taken important steps to improve nutritional health making it easier for patients, residents, visitors and staff to make better food choices.
As a part of North Carolina’s Prevention Partner’s (NCPP), a statewide Healthy Food in Hospitals initiative, HCH has achieved “Red Apple” hospital status by the NCPP, meeting five food guidelines designed to develop, promote and sustain a healthy food environment.
HCH earned its “Red Apple” designation by implementing five core guidelines: access, pricing, marketing, employee benefits and incentives, and education. These initiatives are applied hospital wide where food and beverages are provided or sold to increase the overall awareness and importance of a healthy diet.
“Healthy meal options are offered in our dining areas, on menus and in our vending machines,” says Kathy Owens, manager of nutritional services. “Food items on our front line and items on our internal grill menu offer entrees and sides that contain less fat/calories and are more nutritious such as salads, baked or grilled lean poultry and fish and whole wheat breads.”
As a “Red Apple” Hospital, all food served in the hospital and living center will adhere to healthy food nutrition criteria. A special “red apple” icon will designate healthy food choices enabling customers to know at a glance that their food selections are healthy.
Owens added “Our employees are encouraged to choose healthier items and by doing so will receive a discount card much like ones received atlocal sandwich shops. After purchasing five healthy meals, the sixth one is free.”
HCH has also included its vending machines as a part of the hospital wide initiative. Breakfast bars, crackers, and nuts have been positioned in all machines and are placed at eye level, encouraging those items to be chosen over traditional vending snacks as potato chips and candy bars.
In addition to receiving the “Red Apple” designation, HCH continues to provide wellness programs available to residents through Health- Tracks where members can benefit from nutritional counseling, diabetes education and personal training. During the summer, HCH offers various communities outreach events including educational seminars and health screenings to maintain optimal health.
“We are committed to provide outstanding, compassionate, safe health care and to promote healthy lifestyles to our community,” said president and CEO Craig James. “We invite all residents to join us for any of our wellness opportunities.”
For more information or to register for an event, call (828)526-1313.
Additional information can also be found on our website at www.highlandscashiershospital.org.