Charleston, SC - Trident Medical Center has earned a National Gold Apple Award for excellence for providing a healthy food environment for its patients, staff, and guests. The award was given by Working Well, an initiative through the South Carolina Hospital Association and North Carolina Prevention Partners, who help build healthier communities by addressing the leading causes of preventable disease: poor nutrition, physical inactivity, obesity, stress, and tobacco use.

Trident Medical Center CEO Todd Gallati said the award recognizes the dedication of the hospital’s dietitians, and food services team. “Consistently providing high quality, nutritious, and satisfying meals in a hospital is a challenging and complex undertaking. With this award our team can take pride in knowing they meet national standards.”

Gallati says the hospital’s food and nutrition vendor, Sodexo, provides menu options that meet the demanding requirements of hospitalized patients, as well as staff and guests. Trident’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Fred Bennett, says his team of chefs, dietitians, and food preparers’ takes pride in meeting the needs of their many customers.

“Each week our teams prepare and serve more than 13,500 meals for individuals who have a multitude of dietary requirements,” explained Bennett. “Balancing taste, nutrition, and variety in a hospital setting is a unique challenge. I’m proud of our team. They work very hard and I’m glad they’ve received the public recognition they deserve.”

To help guide employees and the community toward healthier food choices the Trident Medical Center has created an email address where nutrition-related questions can be submitted to the hospital’s registered dietitians.

Registered Dietitian Jillian Butt says for many people the hardest step when making a turn toward nutrition is the first one. “Among the many roles we have one of the least known is that of encourager. Most everyone we work with knows what they should be eating and what they should stop eating or eat less of. But, so much of what we consume is a habit. Encouraging motivated people to create healthier habits is very rewarding.”

Prevention Partners President and CEO Meg Molloy explained, “Healthy places change lives. With our expertise in public health and organizational change, we translate the latest prevention science into real-world practices, policies, benefits, and environmental changes.”