Healthy Healthcare

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As employers, healthcare providers, and anchor institutions, healthcare organizations hold a significant interest in the health of their employees and patients. They also have a key leadership role to play in helping to create healthier communities by modeling policy, systems, and environmental changes that can shift the social norms that promote chronic disease and premature death. As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates, diet-related chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension contribute to health inequities in multiple ways. As the single largest source of added sugar in the U.S. diet and a key risk factor for diet-related chronic diseases, public health experts agree that consumption of sugary drinks is one of the social norms that must be changed.

The Public Health Law Center and the American Cancer Society have partnered to update the Center’s Healthy Healthcare Toolkit, which is designed to help organizations create healthier food environments with a special focus on hospital and healthcare settings. Although the series focuses on beverages and healthcare settings, many of the principles and approaches outline in this toolkit can also be applied to food environments, and also to other types of organizational settings.


The Healthy Healthcare Toolkit includes the following resources:


Healthcare Workers High-Fiving

Building Blocks for Success

This guide is the core of the Toolkit. It describes key components that go into developing successful healthy beverage policies and initiatives.

Artificial Sweetener Packets

Beverage Policies & Drinks with Artificial Sweeteners

This fact sheet answers some of the commonly asked questions about artificial sweeteners and discusses considerations around including artificially sweetened products in hospital food and beverage policies.

Thumbs Up

Frequently Asked Questions About Healthy Beverage Programs

This fact sheet provides responses for the questions that have typically come up when healthcare organizations have implemented healthy beverage programs.

Pouring Water into Glass

Healthcare Can Lead the Way - Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

This fact sheet explains how healthcare facilities are uniquely situated to both lead and benefit from healthy beverage policies and initiatives.

Water and Sport Drinks in Vending Machine

Healthy Beverage Hot Spots

This fact sheet identifies the key points of access to drinks within a healthcare facility.

Piggy Bank with Stethoscope

Healthy Beverage Policies, Healthy Bottom Lines

This fact sheet discusses some of the common misperceptions about the potential financial impact of healthy beverage policies and initiatives.

Girl with Glass of Milk

Healthy Beverage Policies: Key Definitions & Sample Standards

This fact sheet provides guidance on developing written definitions and beverage standards for healthy beverage policies and initiatives.

Water fountain

Healthy Healthcare Hospital Pledge Programs Summary

This fact sheet provides a summary of national and regional voluntary pledge programs that focus on improving the food and beverage environments within organizational settings.

Kid Shopping for Vitamin Water

Sickly Sweet: Why Focus on Sugary Drinks?

This fact sheet explains how sugary drinks contribute to chronic disease and health disparities.


Water fountain

Thirsty for Health - Tap Water and Healthcare

This fact sheet explains why promoting drinking water from the tap makes public health and economic sense.


State Specific Healthy Healthcare Toolkit Resources