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Heywood's policy is to contact patients or family members for permission before releasing information about patients.  During normal working hours, call the Office of Community Relations at (978) 630-6248.  After hours, please contact the Switchboard Operator at (978) 632-3420 and ask to speak with the Nursing Supervisor.




New Menu for Inpatients at Heywood Hospital

February 22, 2011


Heywood Hospital Offers New Menu for Patients


Beginning at lunchtime on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, inpatients at Heywood Hospital will enjoy more choices in their menu, as part of a program called the Liberalized Patient Diet, according to Director of Nutrition Services Bonnie Hathaway. She and Director of Food Services John Nowak have worked together to coordinate the new program.

“This program will allow our patients greater menu options, give patients more autonomy in what they choose to eat, improve patient satisfaction and also identify patients who could benefit from dietary education, “ said Hathaway.

Patients will be visited by a Nutrition department member who will explain the program and inform them of the diet ordered by the patient’s physician and appropriate food choices for their diet.

 The selective menu will serve as an educational tool.

 Salt shaker – this food is high in sodium

♥    Heart –this food is heart healthy (lower in fat, cholesterol, sodium)

Carbohydrate Exchanges are indicated on the menu

The nutrition staff will not edit (remove or add foods to) a patient’s menu selections; instead, patient’s food selections will be monitored for compliance to the prescribed diet. Consistent non-compliance with the prescribed diet will prompt continued education and evaluation by the dietitian.

One of the benefits of the program is that it restores the choice of food items to the patient’s control, while providing support and information to help patients make healthy choices. It also gives patients more choices of foods they may be accustomed to eating or prefer to eat, which dietitians hope will help patients maintain their healthy diets when they return home.


There are automatic exceptions to the program based on patient safety and acuity or how ill the patient is. In addition, the physician may opt out of the program for his/her patient by indicating “do not liberalize diet”.

Contact Bonnie Hathaway, Director of Nutrition Services (978-630-6289) for more information.


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