The George Washington University Hospital (GW Hospital) is the first hospital in the District to obtain validation as a Gluten Free Safe Spot through the Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS), a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group. GW Hospital is one of only nine hospitals in the nation to hold this validation.
“At GW Hospital, we value all forms of diversity and are committed to being an inclusive organization. We are dedicated to tailoring our care and services to best meet each individual’s needs and preferences,” says Kimberly Russo, Chief Executive Officer of GW Hospital and Group Vice President of the Washington, DC Region for Universal Health Services. “We recognize the importance of a healthy, personalized diet and we are pleased to obtain this validation that reflects our ability to successfully support the health of patients, visitors and staff who are eating gluten-free.”
To obtain this validation, GW Hospital had to undergo in-person, on-site audits to ensure the hospital is following best practices for gluten-free food safety, as well as offering high-quality staff training.
“Food is a vital component to health and healing, both physically and mentally,” says Conrad Chan, Director of Food and Nutrition at GW Hospital. “We are consistently looking at our menu options and collaborating closely with our highly qualified dietitians to ensure that we are meeting all of the various needs of our patients, visitors and staff. Together, we have worked to expand our healthy options and to ensure that there are a range of choices for those with diet restrictions or limitations.”
A survey of more than 4,500 gluten-free consumers conducted through the Nourished Group’s Find Me Gluten Free network in December 2020 found that 87 percent of gluten-free consumers have concerns about eating away from home at places like hospitals.
The Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) program is a proven model of established best practices for food service facilities validating gluten-free safe spots. The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that is committed to ongoing food safety research to assure customers and consumers the highest level of excellence in its gluten-free programs and services.