It seemed like an easy decision. I had my right hip replaced two years ago and now it was time to swap out the left hip. The question was, who should do the work? Should I use my original surgeon or find surgeon at a hospital that serves locally raised food?
Also published on the FINE website.
I search out restaurants that serve local food (there are very few) and try to buy from other local farms (there are quite a few). I like to know where my food comes from and I like to put my hard earned dollars back into my community. Why should that be different for health care?
Choosing the hospital was easy. Lakes Regionl General Hospital is the only hospital in the area that serves locally raised beef. In fact they only serve beef supplied by my farm, Miles Smith Farm. Then I found a surgeon that uses Makoplasty technology to aid in hip replacement. While a good surgeon can function without robotics, Makoplasty seemed to make sense to me. Not only would my operation be assisted by the latest technology but I would have access to local food after the procedure.
The day of the operation Bruce, my husband and delivery driver, delivered the LRGH beef order to the back door of the hospital then drove around front to drop me off. Thankfully we did not mix up those two deliveries! My surgeon swapped out my hip that day and the next day I was ordering hamburger from the in-room menu. The burgers I ordered for lunch and dinner were healthy, juicy, delicious and locally raised without use of antibiotics or added hormones.
A few weeks after the operation I was fully functional and back tending my cattle. At Miles Smith Farm we feed hay in the winter and rotationally graze in summer. We also buy cattle from other like-minded farmers much of which is ordered by hospitals. One New Hampshire beef farm would struggle to supply beef to institutions. Together a hub of farms can work together to meet demand.
I have since found out that often local residents eat at hospital cafes. I believe more folks would search out hospital food if the hospitals sourced local farms, like ours. We are now providing meat to four hospitals, LRGH which includes Laconia and Franklin Hospitals in the NH Lakes Region, Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, NH and Concord Hospital in Concord, NH. These hospitals have made a commitment to whole health. Isn't food our medicine and what better medicine then locally raised beef? Locally raised cattle are healthy and happy critters which makes healthy, happy meals.