Bill Flagg, Director of Community Relations and Development at Cary Medical Center in Caribou, has been appointed an Ambassador for Healthy Food in Health Care, New England.

Cary Medical Center

The mission of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is to transform the health sector, worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice. Flagg was named an ambassador for Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) along with Conrad Olin, Food Service Director at Maine General Hospital.  The focus of the program is to motivate hospitals to implement programs that explicitly connect all aspects of the food system with health.  This includes sustainable procurement efforts, creating clinician advocates, and inspiring health care institutions to become leaders in shaping a food system that supports prevention-based health care.

Jen Obadia, the Eastern US Regional Director for the Healthy Food in Health Care Program said:

We launched the Ambassador program this year to create a deeper level of engagement with health care facilities who have already demonstrated themselves as leaders.  We are thrilled to have two representatives from Maine working to create a real change in the culture of hospital food."

Healthy Food in Health Care is a national initiative of HCWH developed in conjunction with its member organizations.  Founded in 2005, the program provides education, tools, resources and support to health care facilities, making the connection between the health of patients, staff and community and the food they serve.  Flagg said that his appointment was based on work the hospital is already doing to improve food options and nutrition education.

Cary Medical Center has been a leader in prevention for more than 35 years”, said Flagg who has coordinated the hospital’s ‘Heathy Hearts Healthy Community’ program.  “We have made adjustments to our cafeteria, including expanding our salad bar and we make vegetarian options available.  We are also working with local growers in the Community Supported Agriculture program bringing local produce to employees.  I hope to expand on these efforts and to work with our food service department to encourage more consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables”.

Flagg will serve in the ambassador position for up to one year.  He completed a one-day program orientation held at the University of Southern New Hampshire in Portsmouth and will participate in routine conference calls and other training opportunities.

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