Working Well, a collaboration between the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and NC Prevention Partners (NCPP), has recognized Providence Hospitals for meeting the Gold Apple standard. This is accomplished by providing the highest standard of excellence in creating delicious, affordable, healthy food environments which are supported by comprehensive policies and benefits.
Providence is a self-managed facility and earned Gold Apple through implementing the five key components to a healthy food environment: pricing, access, marketing, benefits, and incentives. Providence has also implemented healthy food and vending policies that support environments that make healthier food choices more accessible.
"Often times wellness is a philosophy doctors preach to our patients, but do not live up to as health care providers. The Gold Apple is an honor because it shows we are committed to putting wellness within reach for our patients and our employees, and as a hospital we should hold ourselves to that higher standard," said Providence Hospitals CEO George Zara. "We are proud of the work that went into this honor and look forward to a healthier 2013 for all of the Providence family because of this ongoing commitment to healthy living."
By adopting healthy food criteria and creating a logo, Providence has been able to denote which items in the cafeteria are the healthier options. Food service staff is trained on portion control and food preparation to ensure all healthy items in the cafeteria meet the nutrition criteria. Providence has also implemented pricing strategies to promote healthy options in the cafeteria. Along with the changes made in the cafeteria, Providence changed their wellness program design to focus on health outcomes rather than mere participation in order for employees to take advantage of the discounted benefit insurance rate.
Jen Wright, Working Well Manager, added, “The collaboration and hard work that has been happening at Providence between the wellness staff, registered dietitian, and food management company, Metz, has resulted in healthier choices that are easy to identify and less expensive to purchase. They are setting a fantastic example for the healthcare community and the local community they serve.”
Jen Wright, Working Well Manager, presented Providence’s executive leadership and wellness team with the Gold Apple award on February 5, 2013 to both the downtown and Northeast campus.