Creating Healthier Places

Hackensack Meridian Health

Year Committed: 2013
Length of Commitment: 3 years

To move healthcare institutions toward delivering nutritious options to meet the needs of children and families they serve, committing hospitals will engage in nine domains of activities:

  1. Fruit and Vegetable Procurement-increasing purchasing of fruits and vegetables,
  2. Food Marketing-displaying only health-promoting foods in advertising and pictorials,
  3. Healthy Checkout-offering only healthier food options near cash register stations,
  4. Child Wellness Meals-offering to patients and guests a child wellness meal that meets specific nutrient, food and affordability profiles,
  5. Adult Wellness Meals-offering to patients, guests and staff adult wellness meals that meet specific nutrient, food and affordability profiles,
  6. Overall Cafeteria/Menu Offerings-increasing the percentage of healthy entrees and side dishes,
  7. Nutrition Labeling-labeling all foods with calories per serving,
  8. Healthy Beverage Procurement-increasing purchase of healthier beverages and
  9. Food Preparation-removing all fryers and deep fat fried products.
View Partner

Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Display only health-promoting food options in all advertising/pictorials in cafeteria and general service patient menus.
    • Progress To Date

      Four out of five hospitals have met the healthier marketing criteria.

      Results by hospital * Jersey Shore University Medical Center (met in 2016)
      * Riverview Medical Center (met in 2015)
      * Ocean Medical Center (met in 2016)
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center (met in 2016)
    • Implementation Date

      July 2014
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Offer only health-promoting food options within five feet of all cash register stations
    • Progress To Date

      Five out of five hospitals met the healthy check out criteria.

      Results by hospital * Bayshore Community Hospital (met in 2016)
      * Jersey Shore University Medical Center (met in 2014)
      * Ocean Medical Center (met in 2014)
      * Riverview Medical Center (met in 2014)
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center (met in 2014)
    • Implementation Date

      July 2014
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Offer at least one children’s wellness meal in the cafeteria and general pediatric patient menu (if applicable) that meets nutrient and food profiles and is priced less than or equal to other available meal options.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2016, one hospital developed at least one children’s wellness meal that met all components of the nutrient, food and affordability profiles and offered at least one qualifying children’s wellness meal on the patient menu at lunch and dinner for all three days reviewed. This hospital is exempt from offering a children’s wellness meal in the café as it is for employees only. To date, four hospitals have met this commitment element. The commitment element was not applicable to one hospital because the hospital does not have a pediatric unit.

      Results by hospital Jersey Shore University Medical Center
      * Submitted 1 unique children's wellness meal which met nutrient, food and affordability profiles. 
      * Offered a qualifying children’s wellness meal on the patient menu on 3 of 3 days.
      * Exempt from offering children’s wellness meal in café (café open to employees only).

      Bayshore Community Hospital
      * Completed in 2014.

      Ocean Medical Center
      * This commitment element was not applicable to the hospital.

      Riverview Medical Center
      * Completed in 2014.

      Southern Ocean Medical Center
      * Completed in 2014.
    • Implementation Date

      July 2014
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Offer 3 wellness meals in the cafeteria and on general patient service menu that meets nutrient and food profiles and is priced less than or equal to other meal options.
    • Progress To Date

      Three out of five hospitals developed at least three qualifying wellness meals that met all components of the nutrient, food and affordability profiles. One out of five hospitals also offered at least three qualifying wellness meals on both the patient menu and in the cafeteria at lunch and dinner for all three days reviewed.

      Results by hospital Bayshore Community Hospital 
      * Submitted 6 unique wellness meals, 4 of which met food, nutrient, and affordability profiles. 
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the cafeteria menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days.
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the patient menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days.

      Jersey Shore University Medical Center
      * Submitted 6 unique wellness meals, 6 of which met food, nutrient, and affordability profiles. 
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the cafeteria menu at lunch and dinner on 3 of 3 days.
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the patient menu at lunch and dinner on 3 of 3 days.

      Ocean Medical Center
      * Submitted 8 unique wellness meals, 5 of which met food, nutrient, and affordability profiles. 
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the cafeteria menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days.
      * Offered one qualifying wellness meal on the patient menu at lunch and dinner on 3 of 3 days. Hospital is exempt from offering more than one wellness meal on the patient menu.

      Riverview Medical Center
      * Submitted 9 unique wellness meals, 0 of which met food, nutrient, and affordability profiles. 
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the cafeteria menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days.
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the patient menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days.                                          

      Southern Ocean Medical Center
      * Submitted 8 unique wellness meals, 0 of which met food, nutrient, and affordability profiles. 
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meals on the cafeteria menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days. 
      * Offered three qualifying wellness meal on the patient menu at lunch and dinner on 0 of 3 days.
    • Implementation Date

      July 2016
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Offer health-promoting a la carte entrees and side dishes in the cafeteria and on general patient menus that meet nutrient and food profiles. By 2014, 40% of entrees and side dishes should be healthier options, 50% by 2015 and 60% by 2016.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2016, zero out of the five hospitals met the 60% target for entrees and zero out of five hospitals met the 60% target for side dishes. To date, one out of five hospitals met the 60% target for entrees and one out of five hospitals met the 60% target for sides.

      Results by hospital * Bayshore Community Hospital: No data submitted.
      * Jersey Shore University Medical Center: Healthier entrees 43%, Healthier sides 43%
      * Ocean Medical Center: Healthier entrees 17%, Healthier sides 50%
      * Riverview Medical Center: Healthier entrees 16%, Healthier sides 50%
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center: Met this commitment element in 2015.
    • Implementation Date

      July 2016
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Label all items available in the cafeteria and general service patient meals at point of purchase/service with calories per serving (or calories per measure provided for salad bar type service)
    • Progress To Date

      Four out of five hospitals labeled all items available in the cafeteria at point of purchase/service with calories per serving.

      Results by hospital * Ocean Medical Center (met in 2016)
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center (met in 2016)
      * Jersey Shore University Medical Center (met in 2015)
      * Riverview Medical Center (met in 2015)
    • Implementation Date

      July 2015
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Increase percentage of healthier beverage dollar purchases for use throughout the hospital to 80% of total beverage dollar purchases
    • Progress To Date

      Three out of five hospitals met the 80% target for healthier beverages.

      Results by hospital * Bayshore Community Hospital: Healthier beverage purchases including water credit composed 85% of total beverage purchases.
      * Jersey Shore University Medical Center: Healthier beverage purchases including water credit composed 73% of total beverage purchases.
      * Riverview Medical Center: Healthier beverage purchases including water credit composed 74% of total beverage purchases.
      * Ocean Medical Center: Healthier beverage purchases including water credit composed 88% of total beverage purchases.
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center: Healthier beverage purchases including water credit composed 81% of total beverage purchases.
    • Implementation Date

      July 2016
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Achieve fruit and vegetable dollar purchases of 10% of total food dollar purchases.
    • Progress To Date

      Five out of five hospitals met the 10% target for fruit and vegetable purchases.

      Results by hospital * Bayshore Community Hospital:  Fruit and vegetable purchases composed 16% of total food purchases.
      * Jersey Shore University Medical Center:  Fruit and vegetable purchases composed 23% of total food purchases.
      * Riverview Medical Center:  Fruit and vegetable purchases composed 10% of total food purchases.
      * Ocean Medical Center:  Fruit and vegetable purchases composed 15% of total food purchases.
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center:  Fruit and vegetable purchases composed 17% of total food purchases.
    • Implementation Date

      July 2016
    • Reporting Date

      September 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Remove friers and deep fat fried products.
    • Progress To Date

      Two out of five hospitals have removed all fryers from their hospital facility. Of the two hospitals that still offered pre-fried, par-fried or flash-fried products, one hospital offered only products that met nutrient criteria.

      Results by hospital * Bayshore Community Hospital: No data submitted.
      * Jersey Shore University Medical Center: Deep fryers removed and 22 of 28 pre-fried, par-fried, or flash-fried items met criteria.
      * Riverview Medical Center: Deep fryers removed and two of two  pre-fried, par-fried, or flash-fried items met criteria.
      * Ocean Medical Center: Deep fryers not removed.
      * Southern Ocean Medical Center: Deep fryers not removed.
    • Implementation Date

      December 2016
    • Reporting Date

      January 2016

Partner Statement

“Hackensack Meridian Health continues to elevate our health and wellness stance to ensure the healthy choice is the easiest choice for our patients, guests, and team members through our participation in Partnership for a Healthier America’s Hospital Healthy Food Initiative. ‘This effort aligns with our vision to redefine traditional 'health care’ by promoting better nutrition and fitness, which leads to healthier, more rewarding lives for our team members, friends, parents, and children,’ says Steven G. Littleson, COO, Hackensack Meridian Health.

Our progressive accomplishments in a number of our cafés include:

· Eliminating all junk foods from the cash registers and only offering healthier snack and beverage options;

· Offering transparency to customers by labeling calories on menu items through digital and static signage at each point of service;

· Promoting wellness meals to team members, patients, and guests at affordable prices.”