Palomar Health Proves That Hospital Food Can Be Fresh, Flavorful And Fabulous

San Diego, Calif. – In effort to continue to improve the health of its patients and community through delicious and sustainable nutrition, Palomar Health has again been honored for its endeavors with an official acclamation by the County of San Diego.

San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts presented a certificate of recognition to Palomar Health for its commitment to educate patients and residents on how to eat a more nutritious and varied plant-based diet to preserve and enhance their health.

Programs such as Meatless Mondays have been implemented at all Palomar Health cafes to help teach visitors simple ways to make better dietary decisions. Palomar Health also participates in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a national campaign that urges hospitals to improve the health of patients and staff by serving healthy, fresh and sustainable foods and beverages while reducing waste and energy use.

Last year, Palomar Health was also recognized by the City of Escondido and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) as a leader for its commitment to sustainability and success in plant-based menu planning as part of its wellness programming.

Research by the American Heart Association shows that a pro-vegetarian diet with a higher proportion of plant-based foods compared to animal-based foods may help lower the risks of dying from heart disease and stroke.

“At Palomar Health, we are part of a wave of health care leaders who are shaping a food system that supports prevention-based practices,” says Barbara Hamilton, Palomar Health sustainability manager. “I am excited that we have taken our programs to the next level by decreasing our overall meat consumption and increasing the consumption of sustainable, local and organic produce with our new plant-based menus. It’s an honor to be recognized for our hard work and dedication.”

Approximately 33 percent of adults in San Diego County are overweight and 26 percent are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are obese are at increased risk of developing many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and various types of cancer.

“When we buy local and regional fresh food and provide these options on the table or the patient’s tray, it’s not only a better nutritional value, but it tastes better, too,” says Jim Metzer, director of hospitality services at Palomar Health. “It’s one sustainable and flavorful way we can help support a healthier community.”

About Palomar Health
Palomar Health is the most comprehensive health care delivery system in northern San Diego County and the first and only California member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. It is the largest public healthcare district by area in the state, with more than 500,000 residents, and is governed by a publicly-elected board of directors. Palomar Health has several facilities serving North County, including hospitals in Escondido and Poway, expresscare health clinics in Escondido, San Elijo Hills and Temecula, and a skilled nursing facility in Poway. The health system provides medical services in virtually all fields of medicine, including primary care, cardiovascular care, emergency services, trauma, cancer, orthopedics, women’s health, rehabilitation, robotic surgery and bariatric surgery. For more information about Palomar Health, please visit

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