Healthy NC Hospitals: Red Apple Project


 NEWS! The US Department of Health and Human Services has recognized the Red Apple Project in one of eightHealthy Living Innovation Awards!



About the Red Apple Project:


NC Prevention Partners, funded by The Duke Endowment and in partnership with the NC Hospital Association, is assisting hospitals in promoting healthy environments through tobacco-free campuses and healthy food environment policies in North and South Carolina.

Beginning in January, 2008, the Red Apple team began a three year effort to increase the number of hospitals that meet the standard for a healthy food environment and to develop essential and sustainable technical assistance tools. In order to be considered an NCPP-approved Red Apple Hospital, the hospital environment must reflect the following core principles



Core Principles of a Healthy Food Environment

  1. Provide access to healthy foods at all times using standard Nutrition Criteria,
  2. Promote healthy items with pricing incentives,
  3. Use marketing techniques, including nutrition labeling, to educate and encourage healthy items,
  4. Provide preventive benefits and wellness incentives to encourage long-term behavior change, and,
  5. Implement education campaign to promote healthy foods to staff and visitors.

Our Partners Say...

“Times have changed. Faced with unsustainable growth in health insurance premiums, employers are beginning to see wellness as an investment that can increase their profitability.

In South Carolina, hospitals are eager to provide wellness leadership for their communities. That’s why we’ve asked NC Prevention Partners to teach us the lessons they’ve learned by working with our friends at the North Carolina Hospital Association. Our hospitals are already seeing the benefits of this partnership.”  

- Thornton Kirby, President and CEO, South Carolina Hospital Association

 “As a small non-profit, NC Prevention Partners is uniquely positioned to work with hospitals to help them effectively and efficiently achieve enhancements to employee wellness and patient health. When I make presentations out of state and share with others what NC hospitals have accomplished, it always draws enthusiastic applause. Their achievements have helped and supported hospital leaders to establish healthier environments and increase preventive health benefits and resources. At the start of the tobacco-free campus initiative, I didn’t think it was possible that all hospitals would be 100% tobacco free. They have proved me wrong; I’m glad I’m not a betting man.”

- William A. Pully, President, NC Hospital Association

Providing a healthy food environment for staff and visitors requires applying these principles to all places on campus where food and beverages are sold or provided, including the cafeteria, vending machines, catering, food carts, shops and other eateries.

 We recorded this video in 2010 to explain the success of the Red Apple Project:



Impact of our Work:


  • Food is inspired: On Oct 29th, 2010, NC Prevention Partners hosted 7 Hospital Chef Teams, judges from the American Culinary Federation, sponsors, and healthcare leaders from across the country at the first ever Cut to the Core Culinary Competition at Johnson&Wales University in Charlotte, NC.
  • Innovation is spreading: Other states, including South Carolina, are working alongside NC Prevention Partners to bring our resources and lessons learned to their hospitals.


What others are saying:


88 Vilcom Center Drive | Suite 110 | Chapel Hill, NC 27514-9903 | 919.969.7022