Online Program

County-Wide Collaborative to Improve the Food and Beverage Environment in Hospitals

Monday, November 2, 2015

Krystal Kleinschmidt, MPH, Division of Community Health Resources, DuPage County Health Department, Wheaton, IL

Hospitals are responsible for the health of populations, as such, these institutions should promote the healthy choice whenever possible. In DuPage County, a collaborative group, consisting of all the hospitals in the county, convened by FORWARD (an obesity prevention program housed at DuPage County Health Department), was formed to discuss ways to improve the hospital campuses’ food and beverage environments. The collaborative group meets quarterly to share resources, challenges, and successes related to improved nutrition and healthy beverage options in hospitals. Both the American Heart Association and the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity also participate in the quarterly calls to share new resources and valuable information gleaned from hospitals doing this work across the nation. The purpose of this session is to share best practices and challenges of working with a group of hospitals toward improving their food and beverage environments.

Several of the hospitals in our collaborative group now have sales data showing that, since their changes, the healthier choice has become the more popular choice. For example, a greater number of people are purchasing water post-intervention when compared to pre-intervention. Another hospital has sales data showing that the changes have remained revenue neutral, so staff is able to show leadership that the hospital won’t lose money due to offering healthier options.

Eventually, the goals of FORWARD are to encourage the hospitals to spread what they have learned to the other workplaces within their catchment areas and to increase the number of written policies each hospital enacts to encourage healthy food and beverage options.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Describe example strategies implemented by the 5 hospitals in DuPage County. Discuss the benefits of collaborative learning through a collective impact model. Name some ways to branch out from work within the hospitals to begin educating the community on healthy food and beverage choices.

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Chronic Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the coordinator for the healthy hospitals collaborative for two years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.