Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colorado forms first state-sponsored hospital nutrition compact

CHHC launch 
Hospitals from across Colorado joined the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Nov. 14 in launching the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact, a first-of-its kind agreement to promote healthy food and beverage options in hospital cafeterias, vending machines and patient menus and support new moms in breastfeeding their babies.

State health department Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk recognized founding partners, new partner hospitals and those that have achieved a level of recognition under the Compact's comprehensive standards. 

Founding Partners

Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Public Health, Jefferson County Public Health Kaiser-Permanente Healthcare, LiveWell Colorado, Lutheran Medical Center, Tri-County Health Department, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

Partner Hospitals

Gold: Children's Hospital Colorado, Lutheran Medical Center
Silver: Avista Adventist Hospital, Littleton Adventist Hospital, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center
Bronze: Denver Health Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital
New: Longmont United Hospital, Medical Center of Aurora, Sky Ridge Medical Center

The state health department is committed to making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. State health experts worked with founding partners to develop the nationally-recognized compact as a way to improve hospital nutrition and reduce obesity. While Colorado is the leanest state in the nation, one in five Colorado adults and one in seven Colorado children are obese. 

Compact hospitals choose programs to implement and are recognized for what they achieve against a comprehensive set of standards. Here are the four programs available and a sample of the standards for each:

  • Healthy Food Program: Compact hospitals offer daily healthy adult and child meals and a proportion of healthy snacks and side dishes. 
  • Healthy Beverage Program: Compact hospitals offer free water and sugarless drink options. 
  • Marketing Program: Compact hospitals promote healthy food and beverage choices through signage, labeling and discounts. 
  • Breastfeeding Support Program: Compact hospitals provide trained staff members to help mothers breastfeed their babies in the hospital and refer them to lactation support services upon discharge. They also must offer staff members a time and place to breastfeed. 
To learn more, contact Susan Motika at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or go to

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