Podcast: The Farm at St. Joe's grows a healthier community

AHA News

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., clearly was thinking outside the box when it decided four years ago to do more to encourage those inside and outside the 537-bed hospital to eat healthier foods. It converted 25 acres of vacant hospital land to an organic farm to supply produce for its chefs and an onsite farmers market.

The produce grown at The Farm at St. Joe’s goes into meals served to staff and visitors at the market cafe, into patients’ meals, and is made available to the community at a weekly farmers market held in the hospital’s lobby. The Farm at St. Joe’s may well be the first hospital farm in the U.S. that handles produce from planting to sales.

“We looked at what we were serving in our cafeteria and we were dissatisfied with our overall food program,” says hospital CEO and President Rob Casalou, who came on board late in 2008. “We got rid of the fried foods and decided to begin right from the grassroots of building a farm. So we took a significant part of our land and turned it into production for health and wellness.”

To listen to a brief audio podcast and hear Casalou describe what’s been key to its success, click here

Topic: Community Health
Tag: Community Connections

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