Food Program Extends Healthy Meals Beyond Hospital Walls

Before discharge, patients choose meals from a menu that supports individual health needs

By By Dan Hounsell
March 22, 2021

Food service program managers go to great lengths to ensure patients receive healthy, satisfying meals during their hospital stays. For one hospital, though, those efforts extend beyond the patients’ stay. 

A new program is sending healthy meals home with patients discharged from Traverse City's Munson Medical Center in Michigan – and connecting them to healthier lifestyles in the long term, according to Second Wave Michigan. Dr. Jean Kerver created the program and an accompanying research study in 2019 after discussions with Munson's clinical dietitians. Kerver trains medical students at the Michigan State University, and her role involves responding to community needs.

Before leaving the hospital, patients enrolled in the program choose their meals from a menu that supports their individual health needs. At discharge, they receive meals as well as a generous package of non-perishable and fresh foods, provided by the hospital. After patients' first few days home, the NMCAA Meals On Wheels program collaborates with Munson so that patients receive healthy meals for a total of 10 days.




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