St. Luke joins ‘healthier hospitals’ in state

St. Luke Hospital & Living Center in Marion is one of 53 Kansas hospitals that has adopted healthier food and beverage options throughout their facility, according to the Kansas Hospital Association.

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 they serve.

The effort is part of “Health Kansas Hospitals,” a multi-year initiative that provides resources and technical assistance to help create food and beverage environments in Kansas hospitals that ensure healthy options are the routine, easy choice for everyone.

Eighty-one hospitals participated in this initiative over the past four years and took the lead in creating a road map for work sites to navigate the challenges associated with implementing healthier environments.

Hospitals made their own decisions related to changes to the food and beverage environment based on an individualized assessment.

Examples include the availability of healthy entrees, adding nutrition labeling for meals in the cafeteria, eliminating fried foods, adding healthier snack items to vending machines and increasing employee education around the topic of nutrition and diet.

KHA is a voluntary, non-profit organization existing to be the leading advocate and resource for members. KHA membership includes 212 facilities, of which 127 are full-service, community hospitals.