Springdale Hospital Revamps Cafeteria

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The Northwest Medical Center-Springdale cafeteria recently got a facelift and so did its menu.

It's all part of an initiative to get people to eat healthier.

Northwest Health System is one of the first hospital systems in the nation to implement this kind of wellness platform.

"We are bringing a lot of innovation, a lot of tools, education tools and healthy options so that our retail customer and our internal hospital customer can benefit from the wellness and the healthier options," said Holli Haynie, system director of food service.

Staff and guests at Northwest Medical Center now have fresher, more local and healthier options in the cafeteria like salads, sandwiches and vegetables.

"We understand that rising healthcare costs and lost productivity are really causing a lot of demands in the healthcare setting in the community right now,” said Haynie. “We understand that we have to be proactive and we have to respond to that. We want our employees to be well, we want them to feel good about themselves so that we can assure that our patients are receiving the best care there is."

Behind the scenes, workers have significantly reduced the amount of sodium and calories in each meal, and completely cut out all trans-fats.

Right now the new food options are only available for staff and guests but that could be changing soon.

"Around mid-May we are going to be re-visiting our patient menu,” said Haynie. “We are going to bring in fresher produce and super foods that actually benefit the patient, a more colorful plate that really appeals to the patient and has reduced sodium and fat."

Since the revamp, the hospital has even seen an increase in profits.

"Our profit has gone up 24% since last February so we know that what we are providing, our customers are liking it,” Haynie said. “As far as wellness, we hope that we are changing mindsets and educating people to make healthier choices as well."

The menu transformation started in December 2012.

It's a partnership with Morrison Healthcare.