Harvest for Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital

altClick here to check our events calendar and sign up for classes in the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen.

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.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital 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.

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. NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital 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.  NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, 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, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital opened its organic garden for healing with a guest visit from Dr. Marisa C. Weiss, President and Founder of BreastCancer.org, 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.


Farmer's Markets on Hospital campus 


In 2012, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital 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 the hospital’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 


In May of 2013, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital implemented a new food service, Cura Hospitality, offering delicious, healthful meals for patient therapeutic care that incorporates locally sourced foods and from scratch cooking.

"Cura’s passion for chef-inspired menus, scratch cooking and their sustainable practices through its FarmSource program, clearly define their homegrown and healthy approach to dining.  They partner with some of the finest local farms and food producers and they support our Harvest for Health program, which promotes field to plate meals for patient therapeutic care,” said Hudson Valley Hospital President John Federspiel.


Dempsey House Teaching/Demonstration Kitchen


A teaching/demonstration kitchen has been constructed for patients and the community in the historic Dempsey House. The new Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen is offering cooking classes to patients, school children and the general community in an effort to promote healthy eating. Celebrity Chef Peter Kelly has served as an advisor to the kitchen, designed by architect Joseph Pallante, AIA. For more information on the new teaching kitchen and to learn about scheduled classes, call 914-734-3780. Click here to check our calendar and register for upcoming classes.







Young Chefs of the Hudson Valley

Young Chefs of the Hudson Valley is one of the many programs we offer in the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen. Funded by a grant from Newman's Own Foundation, and the Foundation for Youth, the program offers weekly cooking classes to at-risk children ages 11-13 in area school districts. Parents can also sign their children up for small group classes. The program, run by trained chefs and dietitians on staff at the hospital, aims to improve the health of children and reduce the risks of obesity. For more information on the Young Chefs program call 914-734-3780.