HealthyNurse-306.png Photos: Sodexo
MUSC Health nurses have a range of healthy Sodexo Simply to Go food items to choose from.

Pilot program triples nurses’ produce consumption

Medical University of South Carolina recently became the first hospital in the U.S. to complete a Sodexo nutrition pilot designed to meet the goals of the American Nurses Association’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge.

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Health nurses tripled their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables during a 60-day nutritional pilot conducted this summer. Furthermore, post-pilot findings revealed that 17 percent of the nurses now consume the government-recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and 72 percent now consume three or more servings. Prior to the pilot, the majority of MUSC nurses said they consumed two to three servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

MUSC Health nurses and staff celebrated the conclusion of the successful nutrition pilot, which ran from late June to the late August, at a special event and tasting Oct. 9 at MUSC.

A Sodexo chef prepares an edamame nut salad at the Oct. 9 event celebrating the successful conclusion of the HNHN nutrition pilot program. (Click on the download button below for the edamame nut salad recipe.)

The pilot was supported by MUSC’s dining services provider Sodexo, which is a major partner in the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) Grand Challenge initiative of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Enterprise. MUSC is also an HNHN partner and the first organization selected to participate in an HNHN quality-of-life program in the U.S., as well as the only participant site in South Carolina.

As part of the nutrition pilot, MUSC Health nurses and staff were offered fresh, seasonal and locally sourced Sodexo Simply-to-Go food items that are available for quick pick up at three MUSC campus locations. Each item was specially labeled to indicate how many servings of fruits or vegetables it contained.

MUSC employs more than 2,700 nurses, three-quarters of whom in ANA’s prepilot survey said they put the health, safety and wellness of patients before their own. The prepilot surveys also showed that nearly half of the nurses visit fast food establishments or similar restaurants one to two times a week, and 31 percent do so three to four times a week.

Sodexo’s dietitians and chefs combined such information gleaned from the nurses with their knowledge of quality-of-life drivers to customize the Simply-to-Go menu for the pilot program at MUSC. The team also carefully curated new food options that include wraps and salads along with smaller snack items such as fruit cups and vegetable packs.

“Our partnership with ANA on the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge is a natural fit,” offers Julie Branham, Sodexo North America vice president of clinical nutrition. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with nurses every day, supporting each other in helping patients have the best possible experience in hospitals. For this pilot, we were able to tailor our dining and well-being programs to meet MUSC Health nurses’ specific challenges, improving their health, wellness and overall quality of life.”

“We are very proud of our nurses and staff who made the nutrition pilot a success,” adds Andrea Coyle, health professional excellence and magnet program director for MUSC. “It’s been a pleasure working with ANA and Sodexo, both of which share our commitment in creating a healthy environment and offering our nurses and staff solutions they enjoy and will continue using long-term.”

The next ANA/Sodexo HNHN quality of life program is scheduled to take place at CarolinaEast Health System in New Bern, N.C.

HNHN is made possible through Sodexo’s multimillion-dollar contribution to the American Nurses Foundation, which engages 350 partner organizations and over 23,000 participants to take action to improve nurses' health. The program was named a 2018 Power of A Silver Award winner by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) for enriching lives and positively impacting America through broad-reaching programs and activities.

Click on the download button below for an edamame nut salad recipe.

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