Adventist Health Frank R. Howard Memorial

The Physicians Committee
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Adventist Health Frank R. Howard Memorial

Chef Kyle Evans serves food from the garden at Roots restaurantChef Kyle Evans serves food from the garden at Roots restaurant at Adventist Health Frank R. Howard Memorial.
Chef Kyle Evans serves food from the garden at Roots restaurant. Source: Adventist Health Frank R. Howard Memorial.

Adventist Health Frank R. Howard Memorial hospital is a leader in California and nationally, being the first hospital to pilot-test the AMA’s 2017 Healthy Food Options in Hospitals policy. Howard Hospital’s Nutrition team is serving wellness daily, with fresh fruits and vegetables from the hospital’s Commonwealth garden in partnership with the Howard Foundation. The well-trained and experienced culinary team creates delicious, plant-based meals for peak patient health.

As part of the pilot study, the Nutrition team developed educational/outreach material, taste-tested new recipes, and implemented a feedback questionnaire that asked: 

  • “Are you happy with Howard Hospital’s commitment to providing foods that are fresh, tasty and nutritious?”
  • “Our menu does not include foods such as processed meats that are linked to increased risk of cancer and other diseases. Do you agree with our choice not to serve these food items?”

Most responses were very positive, and the team worked together to quickly address any negative perceptions, leading to excellent patient satisfaction with the new menus.

Knowing that a major part of a hospital’s mission is to teach (the word “doctor” comes from the Latin “teacher”, after all!), Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital and the Adventist Health system have also created a series of educational videos for patients, families and guests. These videos address how beans can help prevent diabetes, hidden sources and risks of too much sugar, and ways to break the diet cycle with full-plate living, among other topics.  

The hospital’s new restaurant, Roots, also serves healthy, wholesome food made from produce harvested from the garden. The restaurant’s layout and design invites guests to see their food prepared from scratch, demonstrating that healthy food can be tasty and uncomplicated.

Although Frank R. Howard is the smallest hospital in the Adventist Health network, it is making a big difference in the lives of its patients. At a time when 80 percent of deaths in America are associated with poor lifestyle choices, particularly diet, Howard Hospital and its team of caring professionals are giving patients the tools they need to save their own lives.