U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently recognized NC Prevention Partners for its work in promoting healthy eating in hospitals with a “Healthy Living Innovation Award.”
In a ceremony near the nation’s capital, Secretary Sebelius commended the group for its creativity in helping hospitals across North Carolina change the way they prepare, serve and market food to staff and visitors.
The national award highlights the “Red Apple” Initiative, a three-year project by NC Prevention Partners, the North Carolina Hospital Association and The Duke Endowment to promote healthy cooking and eating in North Carolina’s 127 hospitals.
The Red Apple Initiative is part of NC Prevention Partners’ nationally recognized WorkHealthy America program, which helps private and public employers improve employee health and reduce healthcare and productivity costs.
NC Prevention Partners won in the nonprofit category and was one of only eight organizations chosen nationally – and the only one in North Carolina – for cutting edge work in health promotion.
Spreading the Message
The Healthy Food Environment program sets a statewide standard to promote healthy eating by providing access to healthy foods, using pricing to increase consumer purchase, using marketing to promote healthy items, and offering employee incentives to encourage behavior change.
“It was a great honor to receive this award,” said Dr. Meg Molloy, president and CEO of NC Prevention Partners. “The award recognizes our work, but it is also an acknowledgement of the key role hospitals play in improving the health of their communities.”
Anne Thornhill, NC Prevention Partners’ senior manager for business development, accepted the award from Secretary Sebelius.
“Hospitals are real leaders in prevention in our state,” Thornhill said. “They have demonstrated an impressive commitment to the health of their employees and communities through the Healthy NC Hospitals initiative. Every week over 500,000 healthy meals are served in NC hospitals; imagine if we were able to make these changes in other large employers across our state and around the country.”
NC Prevention Partners said the Healthy Living Innovation Award provides the opportunity for hospital leaders to showcase what they’ve accomplished in creating healthy food environments and to spread this message to other of sectors.
The organization is now beginning to expand this model to other states and other sectors.
“NCPP is committed to expanding this healthy food environment to all workplaces,” said Molloy. “This is an exciting time for organizations that care about the health of their employees and the people they serve.”
Lin B. Hollowell III
Director of Health Care