MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A group of doctors want to get rid of fast food at hospitals around the country and they’re starting in Macon. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-profit organization made up of 12,000 doctors, is campaigning to have McDonald’s removed from the Medical Center, Navicent Health.
Members of the Physicians Committee say they have tried to reach out to leaders of Navicent Health, about getting a healthier option instead of McDonalds. After not getting a response from CEO, Dr. Ninfa Saunders nor Chair of the hospital board, Starr Purde, the group took it to advertisements.
They paid to have five different bus shelter ad” go up around Macon. Two of those are near the Medical Center. They read “Your heart’s not loving those cheeseburgers”, referencing McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ ad.
The hospital currently has a contract with the fast food chain that expires in 2019, and the Physicians Committee wants to make sure it doesn’t get renewed.
One member of the organization, Dr. Neil Cooper, a physician in Atlanta, says having a fast food restaurant is pretty much the same as when smoking was allowed in hospitals.
“It should seem just as strange today for hospitals and health care organizations to have fast food restaurants that we know promotes unhealthy conditions like type 3 diabetes, heart disease, obesity,” said Dr. Cooper.
Navicent Health’s Tim Slocum, Vice-President of System Support Services, told 41NBC, “The Medical Center, Navicent Health provides a number of dining options for the convenience of our guests, including a number of cafeterias and cafes offering a variety of affordable, locally sourced menu options. The Chick-fil-A franchise located on our campus ceased operation in April 2017 to make way for the expansion of Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health and to support our ongoing mission of providing high quality, reasonably priced health services for children throughout the region. We currently have a lease with a local McDonald’s franchisee, and plan to uphold the terms of that agreement.”
The Physicians Committee hope the ads get attention from board members before the board’s next meeting on Thursday.
The committee also reached out to the Macon-Bibb Health Department but didn’t get a response. 41NBC reached out to the health department’s spokesperson, Michael Hokanson, from the health department Monday. He says the topic is going to be brought up at public meeting in August 21st at 5:30 pm.
41NBC also reached to McDonald’s but didn’t get a response.