Mercy Hospital Cafeterias Now Offering Nutritional Guidance Program

PORTLAND, ME – (June 6, 2013) –Mercy Health System of Maine (MHSM) announced today that its cafeterias will feature the Guiding Stars food nutrition rating system. This new program will enable hospital staff and guests at both the Mercy State Street Cafeteria and the Fore River Café to make more informed nutrition choices when selecting snack and meal options.

The Guiding Stars system rates the nutritional value of every item in the Mercy State Street Cafeteria and the Fore River Café, including hot and cold prepared foods, salad bar items, convenience foods and beverages. Each item is labeled according to its nutritional value: one Guiding Star is good, two Guiding stars is better and three Guiding Stars is best. All items are evaluated using a patented formula based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

“The Guiding Stars program matches up well with our organizational commitment to wellness,” stated Mercy CEO, Eileen Skinner. “Helping our staff and our visitors/patients make informed nutritional choices is an important component of health living; we applaud Hannaford for helping to educate the public about the connection between food selections and their personal health.”

Sue Till, client services manager with Portland-based Guiding Stars, says the program at Mercy ties nicely with the program local residents may already be familiar with. “The Guiding Stars program began at Hannaford, so seeing it at both the grocery store and at a prominent health care center here provides excellent reinforcement on the importance of wellness and eating healthy for the entire Portland community,” Till said.

“It can be difficult to make the right choices when you’re worried about a loved one or you only have a few minutes to get your meal. The program uses sound scientific nutritional data which is especially important for people with special dietary concerns,” said Mary McHugh, MS, RD, LD, Manager of Clinical Nutrition at Mercy.

For more information on the Guiding Stars program, visit

About Mercy Health System of Maine

Mercy Health System of Maine (MHSM) includes Mercy Hospital, Gary’s House, McAuley Residence, Mercy Recovery Center and VNA Home Health Hospice.  MHSM provides a broad range of medical and surgical services, as well as primary and specialty care.  It is a continuum of care provider for patients in southern Maine.  Mercy is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Northeast Community.  Mercy is a member of Catholic Health East, a multi-institutional Catholic health system serving communities in 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida.  More information on Mercy is available at

About Guiding Stars Licensing Co.

Since 2006, Guiding Stars has been leading the way in helping consumers make nutritious food choices and has received a U.S. Patent for the Guiding Stars nutrition rating algorithm. 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 found in more than 1,700 supermarkets including Hannaford, Food Lion, Sweetbay, Homeland, Marsh, as well as Loblaw’s Supermarkets in Ontario. 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

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