Vanguard Health Systems | Focusing on Sustainable Foods

Vanguard Health Systems has developed sustainability programs focused on environmental conservation as a preventative health measure, with the impacts intended to create healthier patients, staff and communities.  In addition to reducing waste, conserving energy and managing purchasing, Vanguard has  made a strong commitment to environmental and human health through sustainable and healthy foods.

A variety of Healthy food and beverage programs have been implemented in Vanguard hospitals nationwide.  One example is illustrated through a program at Vanguard’s MetroWest Medical Center (MWMC),which participated as  a signer of the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge.  MWMC developed the “Giving Healthy Living the Green Light” lecture series to educate  staff and community members about the connection between food, health and the environment.  It also has  implemented the Healthy Beverage Campaign that uses, a red-yellow-green stoplight labeling system based on sugar and caloric content to reduce obesity by encouraging healthy beverage choices. 

Additionally, MWMC has  partnered with a local certified organic farm to provide sustainably-grown produce to the hospital community via a  winter and summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)  program. MWMC received two grants that allowed for 10 clinic families to receive weekly produce during the winter season; and 19 families during the summer season.   Participating families  received  recipes and educational resources about nutrition, sustainable eating and the link between diet and chronic diseases.