Intermountain Health: Seeing hospital food as medicine

May 6, 2024, 11:01 AM | Updated: 11:11 am

Hospital food on a tray...

Chefs and dietitians craft the menu for typical patient meals at LDS, such as this chef salad. Patient meals change daily and vary from lasagna, to pot roast, to stir fry, among other things. Sarah Ause, Deseret Morning News

SALT LAKE CITY — Hospital food has a bad reputation but Intermountain Health is trying to change that. Now, there is a chef overseeing room service quality food at its hospitals.

With Chef Alex Govern and his team of chefs, the hospital network is trying to offer hotel-like experiences for its patients, visitors, and caretakers.

Hospital food as medicine

“At Intermountain, this is not institutional hospital food. So, at Intermountain, we have professional chefs and we treat hospital patients like they’re hotel guests and serve high-quality foods as medicine,” said Govern.

Govern and his team of chefs serve about 32,000 meals a day. According to Govern, they boast an extensive menu that they rotate periodically. Additionally, the meals are easily customizable for any dietary restrictions

We have scratch-made house lasagna, crispy street tacos, pizza, pasta. I mean, we have a vegan gyro,” said Govern. “There’s a ton of variety and opportunities for people that will try new foods as well as some of those foods that we have emotional connections with.”

Because the health group sees food as medicine, Govern said they emphasize using ingredients that are fresh and locally sourced.

“Really it’s a huge focus around it being totally customizable, based on preference or dietary restrictions so that everybody can have that positive experience when they come and stay.”


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Intermountain Health: Seeing hospital food as medicine