Aultman Alliance Community Hospital PACE Committee Hosts Free Market Square
Members of the PACE (Patient Advisory Council for Excellence) Committee recently hosted a Free Market Square event at Aultman Alliance Community Hospital to help equip the community with fresh produce for healthier eating. The PACE Committee is a group of former patients or caretakers who voluntarily meet monthly to learn about the hospital and to advocate for current and past patients of AACH.
The Free Market Square event was held on Thursday, Aug. 15, and featured produce giveaways, health screenings, food samples and more. Each attendee was given a canvas bag to fill with the produce of their choice. The hospital’s Nutritional Services department prepared several dishes with some of the produce featured for guests to sample. The recipes were also provided to encourage visitors to make the healthy sides on their own.
Health screenings were provided by hospital departments including the Educational Services department, Imaging, Alliance Community Care Network and the MEDS Clinic. They included bone density scans, blood pressure checks and blood glucose readings.
“The PACE committee has hosted a health fair for the past three years featuring screenings and health information. This year, after learning from the hospital about food disparities in the local community, we knew we wanted to do something different,” said PACE Chairperson Susan Platt.
A medical staff donation was used to purchase the produce at the market, and some was grown in the hospital’s own community garden. Roughly 300 attendees participated and took home close to 1,000 pounds of fresh, locally grown produce.
“We are so pleased with the turnout and success of this endeavor,” said Amy Antonacci, MSN, RN, vice president of Patient Care Services, AACH. “Hopefully it will encourage the community to incorporate more fresh produce into their diet, on a regular basis.”