Ochsner Introduces the Smart Meal

Added on Jan 13, 2008 | Filed Under:

Health System Introduces Low-cost, Reduced Fat Meals for Patients, Families

NEW ORLEANS - Eating healthy in New Orleans can be difficult, but Ochsner Medical Center is making it a lot easier with its new Smart Meals. The new menu selections are low in cost ($2.25) as well as low in fat and are Ochsner's way of encouraging employees, patients and their family members to embrace a healthier lifestyle in the New Year. 

"As healthcare leaders, we're committed to creating a healthier workforce and community; therefore, it makes sense to set an example and offer the community heart-healthy options in our cafeterias and vending machines," explains Dr. Patrick Quinlan, Ochsner Health System Chief Executive Officer. "Thanks to the help of some creative culinary skills, these meals definitely pass the taste test."

Only 20 percent of hospitals offer restaurant-quality meals and Ochsner is proud to announce they are in that category. Starting today, January 14, 2008, Ochsner will add two Smart Meal choices to the menu for $2.25 per meal at Ochsner Medical Center - Jefferson Highway in the Southport Cafeteria, Tivoli Gardens and the Doctor's Dining Rooms. Throughout 2008, the Smart Meals will be made available at Ochsner locations throughout the entire system.  The Smart Meals will include an entrée and two vegetable sides.

According to Ochsner Medical Center Chef Michael Shain, "the Smart Meals meet USDA-specific caloric, saturated and trans-fat guidelines and provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein." All meals will include nutrition labels. 

If you're a fan of the regular Ochsner cafeteria menu items; not to worry. "Many of our new heart-healthy entrees are similar to what we offered before, except for some recipe tweaking and emphasis on portion control," says Chef Shain.  Ochsner's cafeterias have been offering healthier selections for years. But, now we're taking our health-conscious approach a step further by offering more incentive to make healthier choices.

If you can't live without your daily comfort foods, regular menu items and vending machine selections will still be available. However, we encourage everyone to take a healthier approach in 2008.

Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education.  The system includes seven hospitals, a sub-acute facility, and 33 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana.  Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and 450 clinical research trials annually.  Ochsner was ranked one of the "Best Places to Work" by New Orleans CityBusiness in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 12 consecutive years.  Ochsner was ranked as "Best" Hospital by U.S. News and World Report in July 2007.  Ochsner has over 10,000 employees system-wide.

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