Among the many things that Montefiore is renowned for is its people-centric focus and local outreach. Our history is one of working with members of the communities we serve to learn of and respond to their needs.
Our sustainability team accomplishes this through a number of notable outreach programs:
The Healthier Hospitals Food Initiative works with New York City hospitals to create healthier food environments using the NYC Food Standards. The standards cover patient meals, food and beverage vending machines, and cafeterias. Each participating hospital is recognized for the level of commitment to providing healthier foods by receiving a white, bronze, silver or gold star.
Montefiore’s Moses, Wakefield and Weiler Hospitals all have earned the gold star award (the highest level of recognition), which is a testament to Montefiore’s commitment, and specifically the efforts of the Department of Food and Nutrition, to holistically heal our patients and community.
Another Montefiore priority is to teach patients, staff and the community about making healthier food choices. To accomplish this, the Food and Nutrition Department holds outdoor farmers' markets during summer months and began selling produce year-round in cafeterias throughout the majority of our campuses. These programs are just another way that Montefiore strives to offer its employees and local area residents fresh, local produce, improving their health and reducing our carbon footprint.
Montefiore’s sustainability team launched a “Take the Stairs” campaign throughout all campuses in 2015. The goal of this campaign is to reduce energy consumption through reduced elevator usage and increase employee and patient wellness by encouraging the use of stairs. The goal of the program is to reward staff by informing them how many calories they have burned per flight of stairs and teach them how taking the stairs daily can positively contribute to their health.
Choosing a plant-based diet can promote environmental sustainability by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation associated with the production of meat and dairy.
Under the guidance of cardiologist Robert Ostfeld, MD, MSc—the founder and director of our plant-based outpatient Cardiac Wellness Program—Montefiore now offers plant-based vegan meals for inpatients and has added Forks Over Knives, a documentary highlighting the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, to inpatients' TV channels.