Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems
About the Center
At Fletcher Allen, we understand that nutrition and food systems are inextricably linked to the health of our patients and our community. This is reflected in our commitment to serving fresh, locally produced, minimally processed foods, and to partnering with farmers throughout the region to supply healthier food to patients, while boosting the local economy.
Thanks to the leadership of Vermont Senator Patrick J. Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch, we recently established the Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems to educate other health care institutions about building a sustainable food service. Our goal is for the Center to be a national role model for healthy and sustainable food systems.
The Center serves as an educational and operational link between health care and our local and regional food system, and includes the following core functions:
- Serving as a core participant in the New England Leadership team for healthy food systems, which includes health care food service professionals who are working to improve the health of the regional food system
- Being a national model for on-site implementation of sustainable food – such as our sustainable seafood policy, rooftop garden and bee-keeping initiatives
- Providing an annual, science-based training program and curriculum for medical, dietetic and nursing professionals regarding food systems health and nutrition
- On-site implementation and research of food policy changes and initiatives
- Partnerships with local food producers
- Community based education and research, geared toward enhancing the general public's understanding of healthy food systems
Winter Workshops at Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, VT
The Center brought together health care foodservice professionals, farmers, farm-to-school experts, food safety professionals, CSA managers, non-profit directors, and food marketing coordinators to discuss growing and supporting our local food system.
In some hospitals and schools around the state, a lack of skilled food professionals poses a barrier to using fresh and local foods.
The Center sponsored two day-long culinary trainings this summer specifically designed to reduce this barrier and to bring more fresh food into these organizations.
Healthy Food in Health Care Leader Workshop
In September, we hosted an on-site conference for nutrition and other medical professionals from across the country.
The mission of the workshop was to inspire others to adopt model sustainable food practices in their organizations, and provide a tool kit for them to do it.
Gloucester, MA Seafood Visit
This visit was intended to expose and teach health care providers about a more sustainable fishing methodology.
The desired outcome is that hospitals are initiating a more local, seasonal fish and seafood menu for their organizations.
For more information about the Center and upcoming activities, please contact:
Director of Nutrition Services, Fletcher Allen