Fletcher Allen Wins National Awards for Sustainable Food Leadership

October 18, 2011

Michael Carrese
Marketing and Communications
802-847-2886

BURLINGTON, VT - Fletcher Allen Health Care's innovative food service program has been recognized with two awards from Health Care Without Harm (HCWH),an international coalition of more than 430 organizations working to transform the health care industry.  Fletcher Allen won first place in two categories - sustainable food procurement, and public policy and advocacy - to highlight its significant achievements and leadership in improving food service in health care. 

The "Sustainable Food Procurement Award" recognizes accomplishments in promoting health through food purchasing decisions.  $1.5 million of the total annual food budget of $3.5 million is spent on products made in Vermont.  In 2010 Fletcher Allen also achieved the following:   

  • 42 percent of food and beverage purchases were sustainable.
  • A variety of products, including yogurt, vegetables, apples, cider and turkey, were purchased directly from farms, ranches, and cooperatives.
  • 35 percent of meat and poultry came from animals not treated with antibiotics.
  • 70 percent of dairy purchases were produced without rBGH growth hormone.

The "Sustainable Food Public Policy and Advocacy Award" acknowledges support for creating a healthy food system. Highlighted activities include:

  • Supporting Vermont's "Farm to Plate" initiative.
  • Educating other health care providers, schools and the public through Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems.
  • Signing the HCWH petition supporting the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act.  

"We're honored to receive these awards from Health Care Without Harm, which along with other great partners in Vermont and beyond has helped us create a model food service program that supports our missions to provide the highest quality of care and to be responsible stewards of the environment," said John Brumsted, M.D. interim president and chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen Health Care.

"Transforming our program has been an exciting and rewarding journey, and this recognition will serve to encourage our efforts to assist other institutions that want to follow the same path," he added.

Gary Cohen, president and founder of Health Care Without Harm said "Fletcher Allen is a deserving winner of a double award from our Healthy Food in Healthcare program because of its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and improving the health of patients, staff and the community. It is a highly successful example of how health care facilities can lead the way to more sustainable practices throughout our society."

The first annual Sustainable Food Awards will be presented at the FoodMed conference October 18-19 in Seattle, WA.

About Health Care Without Harm

HCWH is an international coalition of more than 430 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the health care industry worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. For more information on HCWH, see www.noharm.org. More than 200 hospitals have signed the HCWH "Healthy Food in Healthcare Pledge" which commits signers to work toward developing sustainable food systems in their facilities.  To learn more about HCWH's work on food and other issues related to health carewww.healthyfoodinhealthcare.org

About Fletcher Allen

Fletcher Allen Health Care, together with our partners at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is Vermont's academic medical center.  Our mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve by integrating patient care, education and research in a caring environment.  Fletcher Allen serves as a regional referral center - providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York - and as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. For more information about Fletcher Allen, find us online at http://www.fletcherallen.org or on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at www.fletcherallen.org/socialmedia.