UW Health: First-ever forum on ‘Healthier Food and Beverages in Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics’ June 5

CONTACT: Emily Kumlien

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Madison – A group of statewide organizations, including UW Health and the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, will host the first “Healthy Hospitals & Clinics Forum: Healthy Food and Beverages in Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics” on Friday, June 5 at the Sheraton Hotel in Madison.

About 100 representatives from hospitals and health systems across the state will be in Madison to discuss real-world examples of hospitals modeling healthy food and beverage choices, explain best practices to create this healthy environment with hospital stakeholders and show how it affects the bottom line of a hospital’s budget. Hospitals from across the state, including Hudson, Aurora Healthcare and Agnesian Healthcare will be in attendance.

“We are very excited to bring together a diverse number of hospitals and health systems from rural to urban, small and large, and covering the geography of Wisconsin,” said Nan Peterson, program director at the American Family Children’s hospital and co-organizer for the forum. “We see this as an opportunity to share, leverage and motivate people to move the dial and create a culture of change.”

In October UW Health removed sugar-sweetened beverages and replaced them with healthier options. Two years ago, American Family Children’s Hospital removed sugar- sweetened beverages. UW Health was the first Madison-area hospital to make the change. Hudson Hospital and Baldwin Area Medical Center have also made the switch.

UW Health will have five speakers including Megan Waltz, director of culinary services and nutrition, and Amy Mihm, a registered dietitian. Both were involved in the planning and implementation of the beverage policy at UW Health as well as deciding what healthier choices to offer in food venues and vending. They will share insight and offer tools and resources for hospitals looking to take the next step in offering healthier choices.

“We hope this is just the beginning. After this discussion we are going to invite 12 to 15 hospitals in the state to participate in our ‘Community of Practice’ program,” said Emily Reynolds, policy coordinator at the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. “We hope to offer resources, support and guidance to other hospitals and we encourage them to start making changes in the next year.”

The event goes from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative, the Public Health Law Center, the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Obesity Prevention Network were all involved in the planning of this forum.

For more information visit, www.wicancer.org/healthyforum.cfm.