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    Program ID - bo040506

    Junk Food in Hospitals?

    Does the image of a fast food restaurant in a school bother you? How does going out for a bacon double cheeseburger and some fries at your nearest children’s hospital sound?

    Astoundingly, 24 percent of pediatric hospitals in North America have a fast food outlet in them according to a recent study by Canadian health experts.

    Critics say hospitals are sending mixed messages to patients and visitors when they don’t offer healthy dining options. One solution, they say, is a commitment to serving fresh foods from local and organic farms.

    This week, join host Jerry Kay as we find out how healthcare facilities can overhaul their approach to food, meet a doctor who started an on-site farmer’s market and hear how one hospital is even growing its own vegetables.

    This Week's Guests:

    Leslie Mikkelsen — Managing Director, Prevention Institute

    Mikkelsen is managing director of Prevention Institute. She develops new programs and strategies to place prevention in the center of efforts to improve community health and well-being. A key emphasis of her work is on systems approaches to promoting healthy eating and physical activity. In this capacity, she provides training and facilitation for local and state coalitions. Her work outlines strategies for shifting community environments to support healthier behaviors. She has authored Environmental and Policy Approaches to Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Behaviors a research paper for The California Endowment as well as The Links between the Neighborhood Food Environment and Childhood Nutrition for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She coordinates the Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments, a network advocating to make healthy eating and physical activity options more accessible in California. She also serves on the Kaiser Permanente Food Policy Steering Committee and is co-coordinator of the Health Care Without Harm Food Work Group. She is a Registered Dietitian and received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

    Dr. Preston Maring — Associate Physician-in-Chief, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center

    Dr. Maring is responsible for tertiary care services planning and development for Kaiser Permante’s 200,000 health plan members in Oakland Calif., as well as members from around the Northern California region. Dr. Maring has been at the Oakland Medical Center for almost 34 years, while maintaining a part-time clinical practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Previously he served as chief of service and Physician-in Chief before assuming his current position in 1997.

    Dr. Maring is an enthusiastic cook who was instrumental in starting a farmer’s market at his hospital for the benefit of staff, members, visitors, the community and local farmers. The success of this first market inspired employees at 30 Kaiser Permante facilities in five states to create their own markets.

    Michael Raciti — Food & Nutrition Services Buyer and Garden Manager, Dominican Hospital

    Raciti is currently involved in food purchasing for Dominican Hospital's Food & Nutrition Services Department while also managing the hospital’s garden. Before joining Dominican in 2002, he managed an organic farm in Carmel Valley, Calif., that provided produce for Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. At Dominican for the past three years, Raciti has been involved in the design and construction of two organic garden plots on the Hospital campus that produce thousands of pounds of produce a year and include a worm composting system that recycles kitchen food scraps. He has also established a volunteer base of hospital employees and local high school students to help plant and harvest crops from the gardens.

    More information:

  • Fast Food Nation
  • The Best Food Writing 2005

  • Santa Cruz Sentinel – “Dominican Garden Teaches Life Skills”
  • Corvallis Gazette-Times – Seeking Sustainability
  • San Francisco Chronicle – New Kaiser Healthcare Program
  • Minnesota Public Radio – Duluth Hospital Goes Organic

    Web Resources:
  • Health Care Without Harm
  • Prevention Institute
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Dominican Hospital
  • Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – Healthy Food Report

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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