KANSAS HOSPITAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH FOUNDATION RECOGNIZES NEWTON MEDICAL CENTER FOR NEW FOOD AND BEVERAGE POLICIES

The Kansas Hospital Education and Research Foundation (KHERF) has designated Newton Medical Center as one of the state’s first healthcare facilities to successfully put in place new policies to provide healthier food options in the hospital cafeteria and throughout the facility. Newton Medical Center adopted recommendations made by KHERF’s Healthy Kansas Hospitals initiative.

KHERF, which was founded by the Kansas Hospital Association in 1969 to extend the association’s ability to provide projects in the areas of health care workforce, rural health, emergency preparedness and health professional education, commended the hospital for its efforts to offer appealing, low-cost, healthy food and beverage options throughout the hospital.

“As the primary source of health care in many communities, hospitals have the opportunity to influence the health decisions of not only their employees and patients, but also the general public by the food and beverage choices they offer,” said Josh Mosier, Healthy Kansas Hospitals project director.

The recent changes to food and beverage policies made by Newton Medical Center as part of its participation in the initiative include increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, posting nutritional facts for cafeteria menu items, and offering a daily wellness entrée.

“Good nutrition is one of the building blocks of a healthy community,” said Steve Kelly, NMC’s president and CEO. “Providing leadership in health-promoting behaviors is an appropriate role for a hospital.”

With an emphasis on offering expanded nutritional food choices, the hospital hopes to engage patients, visitors, and hospital staff in healthy habits that will help them in the prevention and management of chronic diseases.

“It is important that hospitals are active in setting the example for their communities by providing the healthiest choices possible,” Mosier continued. “Not only is offering more healthy foods better service to patients, it also represents better health for the Newton and Harvey County community.”

Newton Medical Center represents an estimated 3,199 annual patient discharges and 657 employees.