Sebasticook Valley Hospital Becomes First Hospital in the Nation to Launch Guiding Stars Nutritional Guidance Program

Hospital Joins Local Supermarket, Bud’s Shop ‘n Save, to Help Consumers Make More Nutritious Food Choices in the Community

The highly regarded Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program – now available in more than 1,500 grocery stores and schools – today announces its partnership with Sebasticook Valley Hospital (SVH) in Pittsfield, Maine to launch the first-ever hospital nutrition guidance program. Guiding Stars will rate prepared meals, snacks, and grab-and-go items according to their nutritional value in the hospital cafeteria and the food served to patients. Each item rated will receive zero to three stars for an at-a-glance summary of the food’s nutritional quality.

“We’re looking to make nutritious choices even easier and are thrilled to bring this program to patients and staff in a healthcare facility for the first time,” said John Eldredge, director of brand and business development at Guiding Stars Licensing Company. “In an environment where achieving better health and well-being is so important, Guiding Stars is a natural fit for the hospital’s food service program. We’re committed to having healthy food choices be a part of the broader public health environment.”

Guiding Stars utilizes a proprietary algorithm that is grounded in evidence-based science and the most current guidelines and recommendations of leading national and international health organizations, such as the FDA and USDA. The system credits all edible foods based on the presence of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and whole grains, and debits 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 nutritional value; and three stars, the best nutritional value.

“At SVH, our community’s health is a priority, and Guiding Stars is an opportunity to educate and empower our patients, guests and employees to make more nutritious food choices,” said Victoria Alexander-Lane, president and CEO of Sebasticook Valley Hospital. “Because this program is already familiar to most food shoppers, we are pleased we can offer this easy-to-use guidance program in our hospital. It’s just one more milestone in offering the best possible service for our community.”

SVH joins local supermarket, Bud’s Shop ‘n Save, which launched Guiding Stars earlier this spring, to help community members make more nutritious food choices. Bud’s Shop ‘n Save has three locations in central Maine including Dexter, Pittsfield and Newport.

Over the years, the Pittsfield hospital has adopted a number of programs and policies to enhance wellness and safety. The SVH community health division specifically focuses on programs that improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and reduce the incidence of substance abuse in the Sebasticook Valley region.

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 1,500 supermarkets including Food Lion, Hannaford, Bloom, Sweetbay and coming soon to Kings Super Market. Guiding Stars has also expanded into public schools and colleges, and appears on the Shopper mobile iPhone application.

About Sebasticook Valley Hospital

Sebasticook Valley Hospital (SVH) is a progressive Joint Commission accredited 25-bed critical access hospital in Pittsfield, Maine. It was established in 1963 by a group of community leaders. The hospital is an integral member of the communities it serves. SVH takes a proactive approach in helping people in the Sebasticook Valley improve the quality of their lives. SVH works with local businesses, schools, communities of faith, other healthcare providers, area organizations and private individuals to make the Valley a healthy place to live. SVH serves an area encompassing a population of approximately 30,000 people in central Maine and offers a wide range of outpatient services, including more than 20 specialty services. Additional information can be found at http://sebasticookhospital.org/default.htm.