Catholic Health announced today a partnership with Health Hospitality Partners (HHP) to offer fast, casual, healthy food and beverage options to hospital employees and visitors.
“Food is medicine. Consistently eating the wrong foods accelerates disease,” said Catholic Health President and CEO Patrick O’Shaughnessy, DO, MBA. “Health care must do a better job in promoting healthy food choices. We have to set the example, and that’s why we have chosen to partner with HHP to offer healthy, nutritional food in our hospital lobbies for staff and visitors.”
HHP is the industry leader in bringing modern retail food and beverage offerings and amenities into hospitals and other health care facilities. Catholic Health is working with HHP to curate and host high-quality operators who provide healthy, fresh, and nutritious food, and who are dedicated to bringing a true sense of hospitality to health care. The first such concept, Root & Sprig is slated to open in St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center’s® (Roslyn, NY) lobby in early 2023, with additional openings anticipated for other Catholic Health hospitals later in 2023.
Root & Sprig was founded by Tom Colicchio, the winner of eight James Beard Awards and Head Judge/Executive Producer of Bravo TV’s Top Chef. Tom and his team created Root & Sprig to deliver bold flavors and friendly service to patients, visitors and employees while calling attention to the crucial role that food plays in health. Menu items reflect healthy dietary selections and feature sandwiches, salads, soups and breakfast items that include vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Daniel J. Kodner, Founder and CEO of HHP, added, “HHP is very pleased to partner with Catholic Health to develop and implement this exciting new initiative. Catholic Health is a leading, forward-thinking system that shares in HHP’s mission of elevating the quality of nutritional offerings, upgrading and updating shops and spaces that host and surround them, and the daily experiences available to health care workers, staff, visitors, and other key stakeholders. The past few years have illustrated just how deserving and important this community is to all of us… the partnership is off to an excellent start, and we very much look forward to successfully bringing our collective vision to life together over the coming months and years.”
In addition to working with HHP, Catholic Health has been expanding its efforts to promote healthy eating habits. Poor diets are associated with a higher probability of diabetes, stroke, hypertension, obesity, cancer, asthma, arthritis and kidney disease.
The health system recently announced that it is partnering with Long Island Cares to provide its emergency departments with food “to go” bags to be given to individuals identified through screening as food insecure.
“It will take a determined effort in every community to help everyone secure access to nutritional food,” Dr. O’Shaughnessy said. “Catholic Health is working not only to raise awareness and funding around this concern but also to find people who are having food insecurity issues and address them at the point of crisis, whether it's in the hospital or not, and I am committed to beginning with healthy food alternatives in our hospital lobbies through our partnership with HHP.”