Catholic Health Initiatives has joined the Hospital Healthy Food Initiatives, a national program sponsored by the Partnership for a Healthier America that brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to address the childhood obesity crisis. A total of 44 CHI facilities – ranging from large institutions such as Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, to critical-access hospitals such as St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, Minn. – will focus over the next four years on adopting improved or updated standards that include nutrition labeling, healthy food marketing, wellness meal offerings and increases in fruits and vegetables, among other programs.
“We are in the business of health, so it makes perfect sense that we will do everything we can to provide the most nutritious food available as a way to serve our patients and to help deal with the childhood obesity crisis,” said Steve Kehrberg, senior vice president for supply chain at Englewood, Colo.-based CHI, the nation’s second-largest faith-based health care system. “We are proud to be a part of the Partnership for a Healthier America.”
In addition to providing healthier food options in its network of hospitals and other facilities in 19 states, CHI will promote a system-wide change in procurement practices to ensure a healthier, more robust food system as it joins in the Partnership for a Healthier America’s overall goal of curbing childhood obesity within a generation.
About Catholic Health Initiatives: Catholic Health Initiatives is a national nonprofit health system with headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 76 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; two community health-services organizations; two accredited nursing colleges; and home health agencies. In fiscal year 2012, CHI provided more than $715 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of almost $10 billion, CHI is the nation's second-largest Catholic health care system.