WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is one of three medical centers in the state to receive grant money to help continue its effort to offer healthy food and beverage options throughout the hospital.
The N.C. Hospital Foundation has asked the N.C. Prevention Partners (NCPP) to assist in the execution of this project, which is to address growing rates of preventable illness caused by overweight and obesity.
“This initiative is timely, as it is now common knowledge that good dietary habits can improve one's wellbeing and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases,” said Lynn Black, manager of Wellness ActionHealth at Wake Forest Baptist. “As a major teaching hospital and one that takes a proactive approach to wellness, we see this initiative as a basis for healthful lifestyles, not only for our employees but for the community at large. We are honored to be in the forefront of this movement.”
Wake Forest Baptist, FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina in Greenville will serve as regional Centers of Excellence in the Healthy Foods Environment project. These medical centers will serve as role models for healthy eating environments within their communities by conducting outreach to other local businesses and organizations. They will also share resources, expertise and technical assistance with other North Carolina hospitals.
The $1 million grant was announced earlier this week by The Duke Endowment. This program is an expansion of the Healthy Hospital Initiative that originally began in 2006 to help all statewide hospitals become tobacco-free campuses by 2009.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.