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Harvest for Health at Hudson Valley Hospital Center





America’s love affair with food is as legendary as it is deadly. The country’s recent focus on the health and economic benefits of the  “field to plate” movement is growing like a weed through the country and just may be the serving needed to save a sick and uneasy nation.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center is an acute care hospital faced with the reality of everyday illness and mortality. Its physicians and staff would like to stem the tide of illness and coach patients to a better day of wellness and longevity. The hospital’s vision for change is being crafted by national thought leaders and a celebrity chef.

Led by John Federspiel, hospital president, representatives from national organizations are joining together with the hospital to design this new approach including leading voices from Harvard, Stanford, Culinary Institute of America, New York Botanical Gardens, and Glynwood Institute For Sustainable Food and Farming. The hospital has adopted “Sanitas per escam”, or “Health through food”, as its mantra, as more and more research from around the globe supports the premise that a patient’s recovery can be positively influenced by their diet. Hudson Valley Hospital Center believes it has a responsibility to incorporate nutrition into every medical care plan of every diagnosis treated, and to hopefully discharge that patient with an understanding of why their diet is so very important to their health.

Fueled by the country’s elevated rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, a green wave of good health is finally taking root. Scientific findings support the health impact of a plant-based diet and are finding their way into hearts and minds of businesses, patients and physician practices. Americans may just be starting to get it but only one hospital is taking action.  Hudson Valley Hospital Center, has initiated a multi-phase program including:


“Seeds for Health” – an organic healing garden



 With direction from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a non-profit farm and education center located in Pocantico Hills, the Hospital built and designed an organic garden of herbs and vegetables used to educate and nourish cancer patients as well as serve as a place of relaxation and contemplation. Community and Hospital volunteers tended the garden and produce was used in nutrition education classes with cancer patients. 




Think Pink, Live Green

alt In April 2012, Hudson Valley Hospital Center opened its organic garden for healing with a guest visit from Dr. Marisa C. Weiss, President and Founder of, a global non-profit organization and the fastest growing website on cancer and health. Dr. Weiss spoke on her “Think Pink, Live Green” campaign, which   stresses the importance of lifestyle changes, including healthier eating, as a way to help prevent breast cancer and improve the health of those already diagnosed with the disease.





Farmers' Markets on Hospital campus 



In 2012, Hudson Valley Hospital Center began a monthly Farmer's Market on campus to offer its employees and the public access to fresh local and organic produce. The farmer’s market featured produce grown by local farms, including W. Rogowski Farm, Continental Organics, Glynwood Farm, Hemlock Hill Farm, Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, and others.  Staff from HVHC’s Nutrition and Education departments provided information to help integrate healthy eating practices into everyday life.  Master gardeners from Cornell University Cooperative Extension Westchester County answered questions about gardening issues. The markets were expanded to twice a month in the 2013 season with new vendors added.



Harvest for Health” Food Service 




 Implementation of a food service offering delicious,
healthful meals for patient therapeutic care. The new food-service program will be implemented in 2013.








Dempsey House Teaching/Demonstration Kitchen




A teaching/demonstration kitchen is being constructed for patients and the community in the historic Dempsey House with an expected completion date of 2013-14. Celebrity Chef Peter Kelly has been personally drafting the concept and design of the kitchen where a full range of educational food programs will be held. His passion, knowledge and community spirit are the driving forces of this project.








Hudson Valley Restaurant Week

 altIn keeping with its new direction of "Food as Medicine", Hudson Valley Hospital Center is proud to be a major sponsor of Hudson Valley Restaurant Weeks March 11-24 and November 11-17.