Since first engaging in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution four years ago, Mount Desert Island Hospital and Health Centers have deepened their partnership with coastal Maine farmers, growers and chefs to bring unique food education and wellbeing initiatives to the local community.

In partnership with Havana Restaurant, we have also helped to connect elementary school students with hands-on food education, inspiring them to get creative and inquisitive about food. Thanks to former Conners Emerson School teacher Steve Gabel-Richards, the school has nearly completed a greenhouse project and has continued to delve into food education with a partnership with the College of the Atlantic, and visits to local farms.

Since first beginning the Food Revolution, MDI Hospital and Health Centers have also grown their nutrition and wellness outreach and education offerings in areas such as diabetes prevention, home care and employee wellness.

Diabetes Prevention Program

By helping community members make small successive changes in diet and exercise, the Diabetes Prevention Program has helped participants lose 7-10 percent of their body weight and lower their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent. The Diabetes Prevention Program has also partnered with several community organizations such as Healthy Acadia to offer community cooking classes throughout Downeast Maine.

Coastal Care Team

MDI Hospital’s Coastal Care Team visits community members and patients at home, helping them to make healthier choices and addressing their health concerns.

Thrive Employee Wellness Program

Participants in the Thrive Employee Wellness Program now receive incentives for healthy activities such as hiking, meeting with a health coach or taking a healthy cooking class.

Our fourth Food Revolution Day!

This year, we once again engaged our community with real food for Food Revolution Day on May 20th. Mount Desert Island Hospital and Havana Restaurant partnered again to bring increased food knowledge and food education to Island children.  

Havana chef Josh Crotty and MDI Hospital’s Marisa Marinelli taught fifth and sixth graders from Conners Emerson School how to make their own vegetarian tamales, while MDI Hospital Wellness Coordinator Kathy Mulligan and dietitian Amory Davis lead them in several outdoor activities. 

In the evening, thanks to restaurant owner Michael Boland, Havana hosted a free reception for parents and students from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. to give students the chance to showcase the dishes they helped to create. All proceeds were donated to the ongoing greenhouse project at Conners Emerson.

“Building food knowledge and awareness in our schools is so important,” said MDI Hospital President/CEO Art Blank. “We are very grateful to Conners Emerson and to Michael Boland and Havana for partnering with us to continue to develop food education for our Island’s children.”



About Oka Hutchins

Oka Hutchins works as the Public Affairs Officer at MDI Hospital. She has a strong interest in community outreach and food education. These values found a home in the MDI Hospital community where nutrition, sustainability and community involvement are essential.