Michigan hospital opens on-site grocery store

Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Bronson Methodist Hospital opened a grocery store in January to make it more convenient for patients and staff to buy fresh and locally grown food, Fox-affiliate TV station WXMI reports.

The hospital also said it wants to change the way employees and patients view hospital food.

"We're really good at helping those who are already sick, but over the last decade or more and we've seen healthcare shift, and we're beginning to address the factors that can help people stay healthy and out of the hospital," said Grant Fletcher, the hospital's assistant director of healthy living and sustainability.

The grocery store serves a variety of fresh, locally grown and produced foods such as meat, cheese, veggies and fruit. About 45 percent of the food served at the market is grown locally via a partnership between the hospital and a local food innovation center.

"It definitely will help maintain our energy level, mental clarity, and we want to be good role models for our patients we're taking care of as well," said Marci Melnick-Butler, MSN, a nurse practitioner at the hospital. "I think it is a fabulous idea. There are so many of us that work long shifts [that] we don't have time to stop at a regular grocery store on the way home."

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