As part of Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare systems, St. Mary’s Health Care System is committed to improving the health of our patients, visitors, staff, and the more than 30 million people who live in the local communities we serve.
The root causes of poor health cannot be tackled solely by what is done in a doctor’s office. To be healthy, communities need to live in environments that promote health. That is why Trinity Health advocates for a variety of changes in policies that support better care and lower costs to ensure affordable, high-quality, people centered care for all. We also advocate for a number of policies and changes to the environment around us that will help prevent people from becoming sick in the first place. One such change we support is improving the food and beverage environments in our community.
And, we don’t just advocate for changes — at St. Mary’s Health Care System, we lead the way!
This year, St. Mary’s is committing to transforming its vending environment to support healthier living in our hospitals and numerous other facilities across the Athens area.
Focusing on policy and environmental change is a relatively new way of thinking about how to effectively improve community health and well-being. Specifically, policy and environmental change strategy is high-impact work that recognizes where we live impacts how we live. These “upstream” efforts seek to change systems, laws, and re-shape the environment around us, to prevent obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
We challenge businesses, government, churches, and other organizations to join us! No one needs to take this journey alone. The resources in this toolkit can help guide your organization as it seeks to expand healthy food and beverage options to improve community health and well-being.