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  1. News Release

  2. Apr 22, 2019

Physicians Committee Commends Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital

Hospital in Northern California Shows Leadership in Adopting the AMA’s Healthy Food Options in Hospitals Policy

WILLITS, Calif.—Adventist Health Howard Memorial in Willits, California, is one of the first hospitals to adopt the Healthy Food Options in Hospitals policy issued by the American Medical Association (AMA). The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit of 12,000 doctors—is sponsoring newspaper advertisements commending Howard Memorial’s leadership. Starting April 23, the print and digital ads will appear in the Press Democrat, Willits News, and Willits Weekly.

Physicians committee is also awarding Howard Memorial the “Leadership in Hospital Food” certificate.

"Adventist Health Howard Memorial has become a leader in patient care by providing tasty, plant-based options that can speed recovery as well as prevent and even reverse diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure,” says Minh Nguyen, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian at the Physicians Committee and the Barnard Medical Center. “Howard Memorial has also removed cancer-causing processed meat from patient menus, as recommended by the American Medical Association.”

In addition to commending Howard Memorial, the ads ask readers to “Ask your local hospital to follow Howard Memorial’s lead and adopt the AMA’s Healthy Food Options in Hospitals policy.” Readers can learn more by visiting  

The Healthy Food Options in Hospitals policy states: “Our AMA hereby calls on US hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by: (a) providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals, and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars; (b) eliminating processed meats from menus; and (c) providing and promoting healthful beverages.”

Numerous scientific studies show that a plant-based diet can prevent or reverse life-threatening conditions, and the AMA’s recommendation to remove processed meat from menus is also supported by strong scientific evidence. A recent report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund analyzes global research and finds that “… hot dogs and other processed meats increase risk of colorectal cancer, eating more whole grains and being physically active lowers risk.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that processed meats are “carcinogenic to humans” and there is no amount safe for consumption. The WHO explains that its assessment is “…based on sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that eating processed meat causes colorectal cancer.”

Media Contact

Jeanne Stuart McVey



Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

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