Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Iowa to Launch Guiding Stars® Nutrition Guidance Program to Help Improve Community Health

Partnership will Promote Healthy Eating Habits to Patients, Visitors and Employees

Guiding Stars, the world’s first storewide nutrition navigation program, announces a partnership with Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake, Iowa to help patients, visitors and employees identify more nutritious food choices in the hospital. This partnership is another step in the hospital’s mission to improve the health of the people and communities it serves.

Guiding Stars will rate the nutritional quality of prepared meals, snacks and grab-and-go items in the medical center’s cafeterias as well as the food served to patients. Each item will receive a rating of zero to three stars for a simple, quick at-a-glance summary of the food’s nutritional quality.

“We always look for opportunities to offer our visitors and employees tools that will promote health and wellness,” said Katie Schwint, executive director of communications at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center. “We are pleased to partner with Guiding Stars as it is another opportunity to educate our community and make nutritious eating even easier.”

Guiding Stars uses an algorithm grounded in evidence-based science, and the most current guidelines and recommendations of leading national and international health organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture. The system credits all foods based on the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and whole grains, and subtracts for the presence of trans fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars and added sodium. Food items are then awarded zero, one, two or three stars. One star means good nutritional value; two stars, better; and three stars the best. If the item doesn’t receive a star, it does not meet the Guiding Stars nutrition criteria.

“Buena Vista Regional Medical Center is a top-rated hospital that is committed to providing the information their patients, visitors and employees need to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Guiding Stars Licensing Company. “We are happy to offer the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program that will serve as an educational tool to help people identify nutritious food choices and to create a positive impact on community health.”

The Guiding Stars program was the first of its kind when implemented in select grocery stores in response to consumer demand for a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutritional choices when they shop. Guiding Stars is available in more than 1,600 supermarkets, public schools, colleges, and the ReachEverywhere Shopper iPhone application, in addition to the Guiding Stars online tool, Food Finder.

About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.

Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices. The Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program is a simple, easy-to-understand tool for making good nutrition choices and is designed to make a positive and lasting impact on public health. Guiding Stars is currently in more than 1,600 supermarkets including Food Lion, Hannaford, Bloom, Sweetbay, Homeland, and Kings Super Market. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools, colleges and hospitals and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application. Additional information can be found at staging.guidingstars.com.

About Buena Vista Regional Medical Center

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center’s mission is to improve the health of the people and communities served. The center offers more than 80 inpatient and outpatient services and 22 specialty clinics ranging from Allergy to Urology. The hospital employs more than 450 people from 54 different communities in northwest Iowa and was ranked 17th nationally in Modern Healthcare’s Top 100 “Best Places to Work in Healthcare.” More information can be found at www.BVRMC.org.