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{Past Event} - Healthier Hospitals Initiative: Local & Sustainable Food Purchasing and Policies in Healthcare

September 13, 2012 - 3:00 pm - September 13, 2012 - 4:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


Hospitals and healthcare systems have the opportunity to support a sustainable food system through their purchasing decisions. By procuring and serving sustainably-produced and seasonal foods, healthcare institutions can provide direct benefits to their patients and staff; while also boosting the larger economic, ecological, and public health of their communities. Developing and implementing sustainable food policies can support and drive these sustainable procurement efforts.

The Healthy Food in Health Care program of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) supports healthcare institutions in their efforts to purchase sustainable foods.  This webinar will be an introduction to the science and economics behind sustainable and healthy food procurement by healthcare facilities.  The webinar will also highlight examples of how hospitals are addressing implementation, logistical, and economic barriers to sustainable food procurement.  Additionally, participants will learn about resources offered by HCWH to implement their sustainable food purchasing priorities, and the tracking tools available through the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI).

Gail Feenstra, Food Systems Coordinator at UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program and UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute, will first describe the environmental and public health science behind sustainable food production.  Kathleen Reed, Kaiser Permanente’s (KP) Sustainable Food Program Manager, will follow, presenting on Kaiser’s sustainable food purchasing efforts, which are directly supported by their sustainable food policy.  Gretchen Miller, Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Program Coordinator, will moderate.

This is the second of three webinar series by the Healthy Food in Health Care program of HCWH, in collaboration with the HHI.  The next webinar is:

Thursday, November 8: 12-1PST/3-4EST (Theme: Balanced Menus)


  • The ecological, economic, and health impacts of our existing food system
  •  How the issue of sustainable food procurement is consistent with healthcare’s mission to promote health in its communities
  •  Strategies hospitals are employing to increase their sustainable food procurement
  • How HCWH’s tools and resources can help health care facilities incorporate sustainable food into their facilities
  •  How hospitals can track their progress in implementing sustainable food practices through the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI)


Gail Feenstra, Food systems coordinator, UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program and UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute
Gail Feenstra is the Food and Society Coordinator at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) and University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP).   SAREP’s Food Systems Program encourages the development of regional food systems that link farmers, consumers and communities.  Feenstra’s research and outreach includes: farm-to-school and farm-to-institution evaluation, regional food system distribution, values-based supply chains, food access/ food security for low-income populations, food system assessments and local food policy.  Her most recent publications include a review of the farm to school movement in the United States (Childhood Obesity, August 2012) and Farm to Institution Values-based Supply Chains in California (Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, Vol 1(4)).  SAREP has recently consolidated our studies on values-based supply chains on a new webpage at: Feenstra has a doctorate in nutrition education from Teachers College, Columbia University with an emphasis in public health.  She enjoys shopping at farmers markets, gardening, cooking meals using local ingredients and watching her backyard chickens.

Kathleen Reed, Kaiser Permanente’s (KP) Sustainable Food Program Manager
As Kaiser Permanente’s (KP) Sustainable Food Program Manager, Kathleen Reed designs and implements systems to manage and expand KP's national food programs, including sustainable sourcing initiatives, farmers markets, the Healthy Picks program, and leads KP’s food-related environmental initiatives. She also serves as KP's National Farmers Market Coordinator, supporting the success of more than 50 farmers markets and farm stands at KP facilities in five states. Kathleen brings to her work an extensive background in sustainable agriculture and food systems, and has two Master of Science degrees from the University of California, Davis in International Agricultural Development and in Soils and Biogeochemistry, with a specialization in sustainable agriculture and food systems. Prior to starting with KP in 2008, Kathleen worked as a consultant with Sustainable Agriculture Education on the San Francisco Foodshed Assessment, an effort to connect San Francisco consumers with local food producers. Kathleen has served on the Board of City Slicker Farms, a nonprofit that works to increase food self-sufficiency and access to fresh healthy food in West Oakland, CA by creating organic, sustainable urban farms and backyard gardens. An avid organic gardener, farmers market enthusiast and cook, with a passion for foraging and preserving urban fruit, Kathleen enjoys working to bring more fresh, healthy, local and sustainable food into healthcare institutions.

 Gretchen Miller, Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Project Coordinator, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Gretchen Miller, Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Project Coordinator, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, has helped coordinate and assist in the execution of sustainable food education and procurement at Oregon hospitals through the Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Project since 2008. In her role she provides direct technical assistance, convenes and facilitates workgroup meetings and educational events, supports implementation of sustainable food projects and works to strengthen relationships between hospitals, sustainable food community partners and supply chain entities. Prior to this work, she worked for organizations promoting the proliferation of sustainable agriculture, healthy eating, and community food security. Ms. Miller has a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food and Environment from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

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