We said we are going to be a community center for well being.

Not your father's hospital meal

So begins the video below of Gerard van Grisven, CEO of Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield Michigan, describing the astonishing institutional commitment to nutrition and all natural food that his hospital has made to his patients and staff, but also to the wider community.  As in: no fryers, no freezers.  Served in part by a local farm.   But there is far more than that.

He describes a deliberate effort “wanting to challenge the entire industry” and ticks off the philosophy and actions that sound very much to my ears like the hospital of the future: as the center of community knowledge about and advances in wellness and prevention.

The food program launched in early 2009, in concert with Matt Prentice, chef and owner of a local restaurant group.   Prentice has trained chefs at Ford to put together meals from some of the 3,000 organic recipes he developed for the hospital.   A good article on the food operation at the hospital is here.


van Grisven does not say here what it costs to launch and maintain such an operation.   But clearly we have arrived at the point when it is more appropriate to ask what will it cost if we don’t take the kind of progressive actions Henry Ford has done in food and in other aspects of hospital development (such as design of interior building spaces) important to any hospital’s potential role as a wellness resource in the future.

Atrium at Henry Ford Hospital