Panel puts focus on healthy hospital food

Discussion showcased importance of working with local producers.

Oct. 15—As the national conversation on healthy hospital food has gained steam, Mark Branovan, director of hospitality services at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minn., shared his passion for quality hospital food made with quality, locally grown ingredients with a crowd of like-minded Montana food producers and health care professionals at the Healthy Farms, Healthy People conference at the National Center for Appropriate Technology. The conference was funded by a grant from the National Network of Public Health Institutes.

The panel also included Seth Bostick, executive chef at Kalispell Regional Health Center, who works for Thomas Cuisine Management, which puts the use of local, environmentally friendly ingredients as a cornerstone. Bostick said the company asked, and in Kalispell he’s changed the meal production model completely. Now, food is healthier and organic when possible, with no genetically modified grains and a revamped menu for patients.