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Oregon HFHC Newsletter January-March 2012

Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Newsletter
January-March 2012

HFHC Updates

Projects Move Forward in the New Year in the Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup

The Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup is alive and well. After a one month hiatus in December we are back to our regularly scheduled monthly meetings. The Workgroup has been tackling a number of new and potential projects that hospitals across the state have been working on. Two examples of projects that are underway are:

Hospital Green Chef Meal Standards Project:Increasingly consumers are seeking food that is healthy for them and the environment. Hospitals can assist patients, staff and visitors in making good food choices by creating and labeling meals that meet certain sustainability and nutritional standards. Coming off the success of the Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge and utilizing a slightly revised version of the meal standards that were created for that event, the Workgroup is developing the Hospital Green Chef Meals Standards project. Meals served in hospitals cafeterias and on patient trays that meet the new standards will be labeled with a Hospital Green Chef logo. Numerous hospitals have already indicated an interest in the project and hope to roll it out this spring. The same standards and logo will be used across hospitals regardless of health system affiliation, ownership, size, or location. To help hospitals implement this project a toolkit is being created that will include: The meal standards, recipes meeting the standards, logos for labeling meals, and marketing materials. The toolkit will be available electronically via a Hospital Green Chef website.

Sustainable Poultry Purchasing Project:Many hospitals have expressed an interest in purchasing regional poultry produced without the use of antibiotics. A variety of issues arise when trying to get this type of product onto cafeteria menus and patient trays including cost and supply. The Workgroup is currently discussing the development of a group project that would enable participants to have access to sustainably produced chicken at a reasonable price. Project development is still just beginning on this issue so if your facility is interested in participating this is a great time to get involved with the Workgroup.

All hospitals in Oregon and South West Washington are encouraged to attend Workgroup meetings and can participate in either of the abovementioned projects. For more information on how to get involved contact Gretchen Miller.

The Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup meets the 3rd Friday of every month from 10:00AM-11:30AM. Meetings take place in the Portland area but call-in options are available.

FoodMed 2011 Highlights

This past October the national Healthy Food in Health Care program held the FoodMed in Seattle, Washington. This two day conference of nearly 200 attendees was one of the most successful FoodMeds yet. Having the conference in the Northwest really allowed Oregon hospitals to shine on a national stage. From winning awards to giving riveting presentations, hospitals in our region displayed to health care facilities from around the country the hard work that is happening here.

 Congratulation OHSU – Oregon Health & Science University responded to the 2010 Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) survey and applied to be considered for the first ever round of HFHC Awards. Reviewed along with hundreds of other national applications OHSU walked away with not one, but two HFHC Awards! They won in the Climate, Health, Food Connection and Public Policy awards categories. Congratulations to OHSU for their hard work in supporting a sustainable food system that protects the health and well-being of individuals and the environment!

Oregon Presenters – Oregon hospitals came out in full force to present at breakout sessions as well as display posters highlighting their sustainable food work. Ashleigh Pederson, Adventist Medical Center; Erin Dawson, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, and Jessica Gutgsell, OHSU presented in a session titled “Creating Innovative Retail Outlets for Healthy, Sustainable Food.” Eecole Copen, OHSU presented with Emma Sirois, Oregon PSR and Roberta Anderson, Food Alliance in the “Planning, Benchmarking and Tracking Your Procurement Success” session. Additionally, Gretchen Miller, Oregon PSR, had the opportunity to speak about the Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge. All of these sessions were well attended and highly rated. Thanks to all of the effort the presenters put into providing examples of great work happening here in Oregon to the rest of the country. You can review PowerPoint slides from each of these presentations at:

Healthy Beverage – Another particularly well attended session was “Healthy Beverages in Health Care: Changing the Landscape.” There hospitals from across the country, and many from Oregon, were inspired to implement Healthy Beverage Programs that address the nutritional and environmental impacts of sugar sweetened and bottled beverages.  A new resource created by the national Healthy Food in Health Care program was rolled out in this session as well. Hydrate for Health provides a wonderful background piece to the rationale for hospitals implementing Healthy Beverage Programs. Additionally, many learned in this session about a health professional petition calling for hospitals to serve healthy beverages, “Health Professionals Say No to Sugar Sweetened Beverages.” If you haven’t already we encourage you to sign on.

Highlight Your 2011 Success by Participating in the Oregon HFHC Regional Survey

What better way to ring in the New Year than to celebrate and reflect on the past one. The Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) project would like to know how hospitals in the region are doing on their sustainable food work, how we can best support them in their efforts, and continue to track the amazing progress they are making. In the coming weeks we will be sending out a short survey that we would greatly appreciate you completing. The survey will contain questions about your over all efforts that have been accomplished through 2011. Completing the survey will not only help the Oregon HFHC project understand more about what you are doing but facilities will also receive a comprehensive support based on their responses that they can share with administrators, staff and the public to help highlight their progress. Keep an eye on your inbox for more information about taking the survey. 

A New Year Brings a Fresh Website to Support your Sustainable Food Work

The national Healthy Food in Health Care program has recently revamped its website. To better serve your needs, information and resources are now easier to find and follow. New content has been added and outdated resources have been removed for updating. Continue to check back in on the website as new and updated tools, factsheets, and content is added. You can explore the website at:

Tools and Resources

Resources for Food Alliance Allies– This new toolkit offers resources such as posters, eater’s guides, templates and brochures that will help you communicate your commitment to a safer, healthier, and more socially and environmentally responsible food supply.

Direct and Intermediate Marketing of Local Foods in the United States– A new study for the USDA’s Economic Research Service recently published a report analyzing the impact of local food sales. In 2008 approximately $4.8 billion was added to the economy, more than expected, from these local sales.

How Green Is Your Eco-Label– A report from the University of Victoria looks at how eco-label or sustainability labels used in farmed fish (aquaculture) compares to conventional industry standards.

Action Alert

Just Label It! – There is Still Time to Sign On!

In a country that labels everything from cosmetics to cleaning agents, it is surprising that there are no laws in the U.S. to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Yet 93% of Americans believe GE foods should be labeled.

We have joined an effort with hundreds of other organizations representing millions of Americans called “Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know” campaign. It supports a petition to the FDA that calls for products that use ingredients produced with genetic engineering to disclose this information on the label.

You can learn more about GE food at the Healthy Food in Health Care website. There you will also find resources to help you identify and purchase GE-free food.

Please take a moment today to tell the FDA to Just Label It!


Should salmon farms move inland?The detection of infectious salmon anemia, a lethal virus, in two juvenile wild sockeye salmon in British Columbia has reinvigorated a long-running debate about the sustainability of the aquaculture industry, particularly salmon farms.

Putting farmland on a fertilizer diet. The USDA released a document yesterday that got no attention on the nightly news, or almost anywhere. Its title is a snooze: National Nutrient Management Standard. Yet this document represents the agency's best attempt to solve one of the country's – and the world's – really huge environmental problems: The nitrogen and phosphorus that pollute waterways.

U.S. judge OKs alfalfa strain made by Monsanto Co. A federal judge has upheld the government's decision to let the nation's alfalfa growers plant the genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant strain manufactured by Monsanto Co., saying the alleged risk of contaminating other crops does not require regulators to impose buffer zones.

Study connects large-scale dairies, feedlots to increased air pollution. A recent scientific study that took place in the Yakima Valley has linked large-scale dairies and animal feed lots to air pollution, providing what environmentalists hope will be a useful tool for enforcing air-quality regulations on such operations

FDA Makes Good Start on Antibiotics But Needs to Go Further. Many have praised the Food and Drug Administration’s new proposed rule to limit the use of cephalosporin, a class of antibiotics, in food animal production. However, the agency needs to follow through and make this rule final, said the health advocacy organization, as well as address other antibiotics being used in animal food production.

FDA withdraws longstanding petition to regulate antibiotics in livestock feed. The U.S. FDA announced that it has decided to back off a 34-year attempt to regulate the use of antibiotics in livestock feed for animals intended for human consumption.

Questions remain about organic foods grown in China. It's no secret that China has a tainted food problem. The USDA samples less than 1 percent of all regulated products. It regularly refuses shipments of purportedly organic foods because of pesticide residues or unsafe food additives — not because the food does not meet organic standards, but because they do not meet standards for any food.

Upcoming Events

20th Oregon Healthy Food in Health CareWorkgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Providence St. Vincent Medical Center)

9th– OPHA’s Food for Thought, Food Inc. Screening and Discussion– 6:00PM-8:00PM (Portland, Oregon – Lola’s Room, 1332 W. Burnside; contact Jessica Nischik for more information)
10thNW Environmental Health Conference – 8:30AM – 4:30PM (Portland, Oregon – University Place of Portland State University, 310 SW Lincoln Street)
14th - Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
17th Oregon Healthy Food in Health CareWorkgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Providence St. Vincent Medical Center)

13th - Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)

16th Oregon Healthy Food in Health CareWorkgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Providence St. Vincent Medical Center)
31stOregon Physicians for Social Responsibility Annual Dinner – 6:00PM-9:00PM (Portland, Oregon – Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd.)