March is National Nutrition Month

GREENBRAE, CA — As part of the preparations for the coming rollout of a new, room-service type meal service for patients, Marin General Hospital dietitians recently conducted patient meal surveys, asking patients for feedback on what kind of foods they would like to see on the menu. 

They expected some of the answers to include traditional comfort food – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, hot turkey sandwiches with gravy. What surprised the dietitians, however, was the stronger preference for healthy, organic options that are so much a part of the culture in Marin County.

“We have access to an incredible variety of healthy foods here in Marin, says Tori Murray, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager. “Our patients are clearly telling us that comfort food at Marin General Hospital should reflect the same kinds of foods available at the local farmer’s market or specialty grocery store.”

As a result, Marin General Hospital’s new patient menu will be unlike a standard hospital menu, and will include such items as house-made salads, signature soups, quinoa, and other whole grains, sustainably-raised salmon, free-range chicken, organic produce, local dairy products along with more vegetarian and kid-friendly choices, she continues.

The hospital’s new dining service, featuring new menu items developed by executive chef Martin Godinez, electronic bedside menu selection with trained nutrition personnel, and healthy snack offerings available between meals, will begin operation in late May. 

According to Jessica Simkins, Clinical Nutrition Coordinator, the computerized ordering system will increase patient safety and efficiency as well as improve patient satisfaction.

“Food is often the one thing patients have control over while in the hospital,” she says.

“Our new dining service will allow patients as much choice as possible on their physician- prescribed diets which we believe will lead to higher satisfaction with their overall care and assist in a speedier recovery.”

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