Online Program

Collaboration in Improving food and beverage nutritional offerings in hospitals

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Susan Motika, JD, Prevention Services Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, Denver, CO
Donald Sutton, PhD, Prevention Services Department, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Denver, CO

Hospitals play a critical role in the national effort to reduce obesity.  In a unique state-sponsored effort, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) collaborated with hospitals, health departments and non-profit organizations to create a hospital compact to improve food and beverage environments in hospitals.

The Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact is an agreement by hospitals to implement measures designed to improve the quality of food and beverage offerings for patients, their families, staff and visitors. The Compact was collaboratively written by experts from the stakeholder group and beta tested in a core group of hospitals.  As partners in the Compact, hospitals have access to a network of peer hospitals that are committed to sharing and demonstrating best practices in the national healthy hospital movement, thus forming a learning community of member hospitals. CDPHE provides support through convening authority, technical assistance and communication resources.

Participating hospitals choose from one or more programs:


  1. Healthier Food Program,
  2. Healthier Beverage Program
  3. Marketing Program
  4. Breastfeeding Policy and Support Program


In the initial phase, seven participating hospitals joined the Compact and demonstrated significant changes including: removal of deep fat fryers, adding meals and snacks that are lower in sodium and fat, and encouraging the consumption of water and healthier beverages through the use of price differentials.


Participating hospitals in the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact demonstrated significant commitments to improve the availability of healthy foods and beverages. The implemented changes impact patients, visitors, and employees.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Define program elements to improve nutrition offerings in a hospital and large institution setting. Identify elements of a collaborative model to impact system change.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of the HEAL team and was primarily involved in the development of the Compact in collaboration with the core team members.
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.