Clara Barton Hospital announced last month they had been recognized by the Kansas Hospital Education and Research Foundation for recent efforts to improve the food and beverage environment at the facility. This enhanced access to healthy food aims to positively impact hospital employees, patients and visitors, while also helping to establish norms for healthier living for the community.
Seventy-seven hospitals have pledged to the challenge to be a Healthy Kansas Hospital to date, and the leadership at Clara Barton Hospital is excited to be one of them. Committing to this challenge issued by the Kansas Hospital Association means striving for healthier practices in the hospital, including examining current food and beverage options, promoting good health habits to employees and the community, and being a role model for healthy options to others.
As the primary source of health care in Hoisington and to many in the surrounding area, Clara Barton Hospital has the opportunity to influence the health decisions of the community.
Jane Schepmann, Chief Nursing Officer and key player in the wellness steering committee states, “As a healthcare provider, we take the Kansas obesity rates and concern voiced by the community through the 2015 Community Needs Assessment seriously. In our role as a community hospital and major employer in Barton County, we have the opportunity to increase awareness and create a culture of wellness in the Hoisington community.”
Changes underway at Clara Barton Hospital include eliminating the use of a fryer in their kitchen and providing a salad bar stocked with many fresh options. Additional efforts being made at Clara Barton include displaying nutrition information in the cafeteria, increasing the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, adding healthy items to vending machines, and serving healthy options at community events. More than 200 health care professionals who are employed by Clara Barton Hospital and Clinics who seek dining options on the hospital campus will benefit from these changes.
But this is just the beginning. A steering committee has formed to guide the hospital in seeking more healthful options for the employees, patients, and community in every aspect. Changes will continue to be made to encourage healthy lifestyles.
For more information on the Healthy Kansas Hospitals pledge, visit HealthyKansasHospitals.org.