Morrison Healthcare Food Services, Varsity Brands, leading electronic health records vendors Cerner, GE Healthcare and Physician's Computer Company Commit to Building a Healthier Future at PHA Summit

Groups announce new commitments aimed at ending the childhood obesity epidemic

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Morrison Healthcare Food Services, Varsity Brands and some of the nation's leading electronic health records (EHR) companies announced new commitments to the childhood obesity fight today at the Partnership for a Healthier America's (PHA) 2013 Building a Healthier Future Summit. PHA works with the private sector and its honorary chairwoman First Lady Michelle Obama to end the nation's childhood obesity crisis.

"Today's commitments are an example of the diverse impacts that private sector companies can have on fighting the childhood obesity epidemic," said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. "Together, these newest partners are helping to maximize the progress that so many are making on physical activity levels, healthy nutrition choices and best practices in healthcare. We're thrilled to have them on board."

Morrison Healthcare Food Services is expanding nutrition standards that have potential to impact 41 million patients and 500 million hospital meals annually. Morrison is making a commitment to implement standards for nutrition labeling, healthy food marketing, wellness meal offerings, elimination of deep fat fryers, and increases in percentage of fruit, vegetable and healthy beverage purchases.

Varsity Brands, the leading provider of cheerleading and dance uniforms, competitions and education, will allocate more than a half a million dollars to increase nutrition and physical activity programming to the 400,000 young people and 26,000 coaches, mentors and advisors that are part of its network of camps and competitions.

Cerner, GE Healthcare and Physician's Computer Company have joined PHA to develop the Healthy Weight Plan, which provides doctors with tools to identify, manage and track childhood obesity, and work with patients and their families on building healthier habits. It will impact millions of doctor visits per year and hundreds of thousands of patients and families.

Specifically Morrison Healthcare Food Services is making the following commitments:

Over the next four years, Morrison Healthcare Food Services will work to improve the nutrition of patient meals as well as the food options in onsite cafeterias. Specific criteria will be met by each participating hospital in the following areas:

  • Children's Meals;
  • Fit Meals;
  • Overall Cafeteria/General Menu Offerings;
  • Healthy Check-Out;
  • Nutritional Labeling and Marketing;
  • Food Preparation;
  • Fruits and Vegetables; and
  • Beverages.

Morrison has committed to PHA that 60 percent of its hospital clients will meet the criteria by 2017, however, its goal is for 100 percent of Morrison hospital clients to adopt the standards. This partnership, once fully implemented, could impact more than 400 hospitals, 41 million patients and 500 million hospital meals annually.

Specifically Varsity Brands is making the following commitments:

Varsity Brands will launch the new program at all Varsity summer camps, to include more than 2,000 sessions, for high school and collegiate teams beginning in May 2013.  As part of the camp launch, Varsity will:

  • Announce a physical activity challenge, including both an individual and a school-based activity. As part of the challenge to inspire younger children to become active, teams will learn about the importance of physical activity for healthy lifestyles and will be encouraged to develop and launch programs both within their own schools and to outreach to and implement programs in local elementary schools. 
  • Develop and provide a turnkey plan to high school and collegiate cheerleading teams at its camps to assist them in establishing ambassador programs to encourage movement among their peers and elementary school students. 
  • Integrate the curriculum into camp sessions and provide training to camp participants and teams on how to execute the school-based physical activity challenge.
  • Encourage all camp participants to make an individual pledge or commitment that they will accomplish in their schools before leaving camp.
  • Provide additional information about the challenge and healthy lifestyle messages on a DVD sent home with the coach of each team, providing PHA an opportunity to provide relevant content.

Specifically, Cerner, GE Healthcare and Physician's Computer Company are making the following commitments:

In the next 18 months, all EHR technologies produced by partners will help primary care doctors develop healthy weight plans for patients and their families. The plans will give providers the tools to capture relevant data to track at-risk patients; present data to patients and families in a way they can understand and use; generate practical goals for patients and families to pursue between visits; and provide information about community resources to help support healthy weight goals.In addition to helping clinicians support children at risk for childhood obesity, the tools also will help them support children who are at a healthy weight to maintain that status and develop the healthy habits that will serve them throughout childhood and adult life.

About the EHR partners:

Cerner, one of the nation's largest providers of EHR solutions, is licensed by 45,000 physicians – of which more than 6,000 are family practice physicians. Cerner is also in more than 10,000 facilities globally.

GE Healthcare has developed Centricity Practice Solution, a fully integrated electronic medical record for clinical excellence and practice management tool for financial excellence. Centricity Practice Solution is utilized by thousands of physicians across the clinical spectrum, including those of the United States Olympic Committee.

Physician's Computer Company, which serves about a thousand providers, has developed a unique EHR service that is designed for pediatrics. It estimates that PCC providers serve in total 300,000 to 400,000 pediatric patients.

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation's most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

SOURCE Partnership for a Healthier America



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