PHOENIX — Some hospitals in Arizona have begun to open mini markets for the doctors, nurses, and staff who are working long hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic and may not be able to make it to the grocery store.
Dignity Health, Banner Health, and HonorHealth have all opened mini markets inside their hospital cafes with everyday staples, such as bread, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and grab-and-go sandwiches, according to spokespersons for those hospitals.
"CommonSpirit’s front line physicians and staff are going above and beyond to care for our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to support them in every way possible,” said Dr. Deisell Martinez, leader for food and nutrition services at CommonSpirit Health, which owns Dignity Health, in a statement. “Our caregivers and their families are making great sacrifices right now. We are humbled by their heroism and courage and want to make it easier and more comfortable for them to meet some of their needs outside of work.”
Their most robust markets have been set up at Dignity Health Chandler Regional, Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert, and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, a spokesperson said.
Banner Hospital has also set-up makeshift markets for its staffs at Banner Ironwood Medical Center, Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, and Banner University Medical Center in Tucson.
They have also created prepackaged family-style to-go meals that can feed a family of four. Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa does not have a market, but has created food baskets that staff can buy, according to a news release.
“We’re proud that we can do our part to provide this important service to our physicians and clinical staff,” said Tracy Baskara, director of culinary and nutrition for Banner Ironwood Medical Center in Queen Creek, in a statement. “Seeing our colleagues taking care of patients, saving lives and working a lot of hours during this time inspired us to help them and their families at home.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for HonorHealth said it has expanded its marketplaces at some of its hospitals in the Valley, while others are offering meals that their staff can buy.
"In response to COVID-19, the HonorHealth Food Services teams at each of our campuses are doing everything they can to support our clinical staff by making sure they have food available to take home," a statement said.