UCLA Medical Center wins foodservice award

Award from Healthcare Without Harm recognizes hospital's efforts to reduce its "climate footprint."

May 8—Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has received a Food, Climate, Health Connection Award from Health Care Without Harm for the foodservice department's effort to reduce what HCWH calls its "climate footprint." The award is one of four given out by the organization, which works with hospitals to improve their environmental sustainability.

The award recognized several of the foodservice department's initatives, led by Director of Nutrition Patti Oliver, R.D. The department was cited for offering patients and retail customers at least one protein-balanced vegetarian or vegan option each meal; placing more emphasis on purchasing foods and beverages that are produced with the use of fossil-based fertilizers; reducing foodservice waste by tracking waste, composting materials and donating excess food to anti-hunger organizations, and using resuable and biodegradable serviceware for patient meal service.

HCWH also noted the department's program to encourage employees to use reusable water bottles rather than buying bottled water, and its efforts to encourage the purchase of energy efficient foodservice equipment and teach employees to turn off appliances when not in use.

"Our nutrition team has been at the forefront in developing initiatives that encourage healthier food choices, purchasing sustainable foods, recycling and composting in our foodservice areas,"  Dr. David Feinberg, president of UCLA Health System, said in a statement. "This is part of our vision to support a healthier community."