Grand River Health recognized for healthy eating |

Grand River Health recognized for healthy eating

Pictured are Karen Juarez, Jenna Collinge, Lauren Larson, and Nikita Sullivent.
Provided |

The state recognized Rifle’s Grand River Health on June 14 for creating a healthy environment for patients, staff, visitors and newborn babies.

The hospital earned bronze for meeting or exceeding nutrition and breastfeeding standards set by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Healthy Hospital Compact. Each of Compact’s 22 partner hospitals offer and promote healthy food and beverage options in patient menus, cafeterias and vending machines. Trained staff members also provide help to mothers with breastfeeding their babies after they have been discharged from area hospitals.

Hospitals achieve higher levels of recognition by offering more healthy food and beverage options, heavily promoting those options through signage and discounts and meeting strict criteria for breastfeeding support.

To earns bronze recognition status, the Café Manager and Dietitians at Grand River Health have increased the number of healthy food and beverage offerings, implemented a stoplight system in the café to help promote healthier food choices, printed calorie and carbohydrate information on the patient menu, and created a private lactation room for nursing mothers.

The Compact was developed as a way to help reduce obesity as a part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s commitment to make Colorado the healthiest state. While Colorado has been the leanest state in the nation for several years, one in five Colorado adults and one in seven Colorado children are obese. Obesity puts people at risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Coloradans spend more than $1 billion each year on obesity-related health care.

Breastfeeding helps reduce childhood obesity and ensures the health of Colorado mothers and their babies.

Many of the hospitals that belong to the Compact are also part of the Colorado Baby-Friendly Hospital Collaborative and were recognized for their efforts to support best breastfeeding practices.

Working with state and local public health, Compact partners have created an active network of lactation consultants, cafe managers, chefs, nutrition directors and public health agencies that has made each partner stronger and extended the reach of their health initiatives beyond the walls of the hospital and into the community.

“As community centers of health and healing, hospitals play an important role in reducing obesity,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of the state health department. “Colorado is a healthier place because of their efforts.”

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