UPMC Presbyterian Kicks Off Wellness Wednesday

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland held its Wellness Wednesday kick-off event as a fun and informational day full of demos, tips, and a plant-based culinary workshop to promote healthy lifestyles to its busy staff.

“Wellness Wednesday is a great program for everyone at UPMC Presbyterian to promote wellness and to make our cafeteria a hub of health and nutrition… our goal is to expand this into a monthly program,” said Robert Franz, retail manager at the hospital. “This is a huge accomplishment, and it’s great to have such collaborative efforts from different departments within the organization to make this fun and informative event possible.”

The UPMC Presbyterian Cafeteria actually has a Silver Plate designation level through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program.

Wellness Wednesday began with a healthy cooking demonstration at the entrance of the UPMC Presbyterian Cafeteria where Chef Ray Wesolowski and Dietitian Gretchen Zehner prepared a Mexican Quinoa for guests. They presented the recipe’s health benefits, answered questions and even served up delicious samples of the finished product! The day also consisted of other meatless food samplings and featured recipes with Kate Watts, Food & Nutrition Coordinator with the Humane Society of the United States, who held a presentation and discussion. UPMC Health Plan also hosted a Health Coach table for guests to have face-to-face conversations with experts, and MyHealth at Work gave employees a chance to learn more about the new UPMC Presbyterian clinic. Other informational tables were present as resources promoting wellness and healthy living.

A Plant Strong Culinary Workshop also took place in the Scaife Conference Center, featuring speakers from the hospital and the Humane Society’s Forward Food program. This workshop hosted a hands-on plant-based culinary and educational training for health professionals.

“We’re very proud of this event and the team that lead the charge: Chef Ray Wesolowski, Dietitians Gretchen Zehner and Elise Wade and Jean Nichloech. We hope to have other UPMC hospitals replicate Wellness Wednesday,” said Franz.

Two Oakland-Based UPMC Hospitals Achieve Sustainability Designation

UPMC Presbyterian and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC have achieved Silver Plate and Gold Plate designation, respectively, through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program. The hospitals are the 15th and 16th locations to earn designation through the program.

“Becoming designated really gives us a sense of accomplishment. Hospital cafeterias and restaurants do some great things, but don’t always get recognition,” said Robert Franz, retail manager at UPMC Presbyterian.

“It’s nice to partner with organization that will help us reach our goal of helping the environment,” said Sarah Black, retail manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Franz and Black oversee the retail and food services and manage operations at their respective hospitals.

Both locations do incredible things when it comes to green practices. Magee-Womens incorporates freshly grown items into their menu and uses the flowers they grow for their retail shop.

“Magee-Womens uses the help of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to manage our three gardens,” said Black. “We look forward to having two bee hives on our roof in spring of 2018 as well!

“We also like to educate people through our Roots of Wellness program – a hub of information on nutritional, physical, emotional and environmental wellness for staff and visitors.”

The program includes bulletin boards throughout the hospital that display tips and facts to adopt a healthier lifestyle as well as functions in the cafeteria, such as cooking demos and wellness consulting. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s cafeteria serves around 1,200 to 1,500 people per day.

UPMC Presbyterian’s cafeteria, which serves around 3,000 to 4,000 people per day, is partnering with Freedom Farms to help bring in fresh local products every week – from jarred items like honey to fresh produce and local meats.

“It’s things like this that give the hospital’s staff more of an appreciation of what they’re getting on a daily basis at our cafeterias,” said Franz.

Franz and Black highly recommend that Oakland food establishments get on-board with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program to capitalize on the lasting value of functioning in greener and more sustainable ways.

“A lot of the things we were doing were already in the criteria to become designated! We filled out the online application and received our plate level, and Rebecca Bykoski, Program Manager of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program, is always there to answer questions,” said Black. “Oakland really is a foodie city.”

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Designation enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business. Interested in joining the program? Contact Jonathan Winkler: jonathan@oaklandbid.org

UPMC Presbyterian’s Summer Farm Markets
Hosted By Freedom Farms

Thursdays starting June 1
11AM – 2PM

Enjoy local produce, jarred products, local meats and baked goods.

Dates held in UPMC Presbyterian’s front entrance green space
along Fifth Avenue: June 22, July 20 & August 24.

All other Thursdays, this will be located outside of the
cafeteria on the 11th floor.

Fuel & Fuddle – the latest restaurant in sustainability

Untitled-1 (3)

Fuel and Fuddle, located at 212 Oakland Avenue, is the latest restaurant to get designated and make equipment upgrades through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program. Fuel and Fuddle is a true hot spot in Oakland serving upscale bar and grill food since 1996, and owner and OBID Board Member, Brandon Smith, is happy with his business earning a Silver plate designation level. “The program definitely made me more aware of the importance of green practices and equipment to be environmentally friendly and help save money,” said Brandon. “Thanks to the knowledge and expertise of Rebecca Bykoski, program manager of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program, we were able to tackle the designation process as well as identify equipment we could switch out,” he continued.

Fuel and Fuddled used the funds provided by the program to replace a 30 year-old furnace. “Instead of repairing the old furnace, I found value in a new high-efficiency furnace that used less gas saves money in the long run,” said Brandon. Brandon would like to see more Oakland restaurants jump on board this opportunity to save money through sustainability. “It’s nice when doing the right thing is the thing that helps your business grow,” he concluded.

Putting the “Garden” in Hilton Garden Inn

untitled-2

If you dine at the Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place located at 3454 Forbes Avenue, you’ll be sure to taste home-grown herbs, vegetables and ingredients in your meal. With funds from the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants Program—the grill recently earned a Silver Plate level of designation— the Garden Grille & Bar has installed a Tower Garden Growing System by Juice Plus+. This futuristic, indoor garden can grow up to 20 plants, and the Hilton Garden Inn already has an abundance of lettuce, cilantro, basil, lemon grass, lavender and chives ready to go!

Andrew Thompson, Executive Chef at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place, is excited about his new Tower Garden. “This vertical-standing hydroponic/aeroponic garden tower does it all. I get about three or four uses out of one pot! We’re already growing so much,” said Andrew. “In the spring, I hope to grow some flowers in it, so it’s pretty versatile as well!”

Chef Andrew has only been with the Hilton Garden Inn for roughly 9 months, so becoming a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant was one of his first endeavors! He found the program to be extremely helpful and easy. “We landed at a Silver Plate level, but I have goals of moving up to Gold within the next six months now that we incorporate a little farm-to-table aspect.”

The Garden Grille & Bar does its best at holding up sustainable practices which will, without a doubt, help them in reaching their goals. “It’s important to us that we are a ‘go-green’ hotel. We turn off all equipment that isn’t in use, and all of our cups and lids are biodegradable. Unfortunately our straws are not, so we only give those out to customers who specifically ask for them,” said Chef Andrew. Besides the Tower Garden, Chef Andrew also plans to use the funds for some curtain strips in his walk-in refrigerator and service elevator.

Chef Andrew welcomes people to come to the Garden Grille & Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place and try their seasonal menu running until December. The menu includes favorites such as Blackened Tuna Spoons, Goat Cheese Crostinis, as well as Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler.

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Designation enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business.