Panzer Wins State Obesity Prevention Award

Sandy Panzer 

ThedaCare Leader Earns Honor for Improving Food in Hospital Cafeterias

Sandy Panzer, vice president of health services for ThedaCare At Work, received a 2012 Obesity Prevention Superhero Award for her efforts in making the food available in hospital cafeterias healthier and easier to spot.

The Wisconsin Partnership for Activity and Nutrition (WI PAN) and the Wisconsin Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (NPAO) Program hand out the Obesity Prevention Superhero Awards. Twelve winners from across the state were selected.

A registered nurse, Panzer led the effort to bring healthier food choices to the ThedaCare hospital cafeterias including Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah.  She also helped develop an easy, color-coded system that helps diners select healthier entrees.

“Our initiative in the hospital cafeterias was important for us for many reasons.  First, we are a healthcare organization and we need to role model for the community.  If we serve high-fat, non-nutritious food in our cafeteria, we would not be speaking the truth about what needs to be done to be healthy,” Panzer said. “Much of our nation’s problem with obesity comes from lack of knowledge and misrepresentation of what really constitutes healthy food choices. The cafeterias also allow a place for our employees to learn how to eat tasty, healthy foods at a low cost.”

In addition to Panzer, other 2012 Obesity Prevention Superhero Awards went to Amanda Ostrowski of the Marathon County Health Department; Randy and Julie Johnson from Ashwaubeon’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee; Jen Van Den Elzen from Live54218; Debra Durchslag from Northwoods Breastfeeding Coalition; Pam Ross from the Opportunity Development Center in Wood County; Sarah Inman from Brown County United Way; Brenda Rooney from Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center; John Dye from the Green Bay Press-Gazette; Bev Hall from Waupaca County’s Women, Infants and Children Program and the NuACT Coalition; Stacey Weichelt from Marshfield School District; and Rufus Haucke of Keewaydin Farms.

ThedaCare At Work works directly with employers in seven Wisconsin counties to reduce targeted health care costs and improve the health of employees. ThedaCare At Work’s integrated solutions include occupational health through personal health programs such as onsite health coaching and nursing services, employee assistance programs, a provider network and pharmacy benefit management.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.