Friday, September 14, 2018

Mt. Hope Staff Makes the Mt. Hope Health Center a Healthy Beverage Zone

When you enter the Institute for Family Health's Mt. Hope Family Practice you can now quench your thirst with a cup of delicious, fruit infused water as the Mt. Hope Family Practice is part of the Bronx Healthy Beverage Zone. The fruit infused water came about after the staff expressed an interest in changing their eating habits.

"We invited Bronx Health REACH staff member Kelly Moltzen and Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC to the Health Center to show us how we could manage our sugar intake," says Tanya Baker, staff administrator at Mt. Hope. "During this meeting they provided examples of various sugary beverages and under each container they placed a plastic pouch showing exactly how much sugar each one contained. We were shocked by the unhealthy amounts of sugar in each beverage. During this education session they taught us how to read the nutrition labels. With this newly acquired knowledge we decided to sign the pledge to stay away from sugary drinks."

Kelly, who also co-chairs the Bronx Healthy Beverage Zone initiative, provided Mt. Hope with a fruit-infusion water dispenser as part of the Creating Healthy Schools & Communities program's worksite wellness initiative. Mt. Hope introduced the fruit infused water to staff members and patients with the goal to decrease their sugar intake.

"The dispenser is put out every day in the patient waiting area for everyone to enjoy," adds Tanya. "Myself and the Medical Director are committed to drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day, and other staff members and patients have increased their consumption as well. We have patients and Mt. Hope staff filling their water bottles when they arrive and as they leave. The pineapple flavored fruit infused water seems to be the most popular as patients and staff always request it."

Staff share their enthusiasm about the fruit infused water:

“The infused water is so refreshing and in such a perfect location, patients and staff love it” - Krystina Baez, MOA

“Nothing better than walking in to the Mt. Hope Health Center on a hot summer day and seeing ice cold, refreshing fruit infused water. The staff and patients love it.” -Christina Burgos, MOA

“The infused water is amazing, especially the pineapple. It’s refreshing and quenches our thirst.” - Montrecia Frazier, MOA

“Ms. Baker, let’s keep this water going. The patients love it when they walk in thirsty from the outside.” - Karen Gil, MOA

“I am really enjoying the refreshing water they provide. I love it so much that it has encouraged me to do it at home as well.” - Affya Thompson, LPN

“Having the infused water here at Mt. Hope exposes patients to a great way of living.” - Dr. Amarilys Cortijo, Medical Director.

“It is exciting to see staff taking control of their health...Mount Hope is serving as a great example for what other worksites and health clinics can accomplish.”  - Kelly Moltzen, MPH, RD

Tanya Baker and Kelly Moltzen contributed to this article.

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