Garfield’s Café: Serving Up a Healthy Bowl of History

posted on August 13, 2018

Lincoln Cushing, Heritage writer

 

Kaiser Permanente’s offices in Portland, Oregon, recently added a public coffeeshop on their ground floor. In addition to stimulating brew, the cafe serves up history as well.

The space was christened “Garfield’s Café” to honor our founding physician and Kaiser Permanente’s long-standing commitment to nutrition as a component of good health. The menu features a wide variety of healthy options, ranging from oatmeal to daily paninis, veggie bowls and salads. The architects of this new café hope patrons will also sink their teeth in history of Kaiser Permanente and the Northwest region.

Kaiser Oregonship staff cafeteria, with nurses, 1942; click for large image

The space is near a display mounted in 2015 that includes key moments in Kaiser Permanente history in the Northwest. Oversize panels on the café wall highlight Dr. Garfield and the programs in the Portland area during World War II to feed the home-front workforce. These include photos of “Victory Gardens” in the worker-housing projects and employees dining at the huge Kaiser Oregonship cafeteria at St. Johns in 1942.

A large photograph of Dr. Garfield at Contractors General Hospital in the remote Mojave Desert is captioned with a quote from a 1980 letter to the 12,000 members who were part of his Total Health Care Program:

“Remember, good health is a way to get more out of your life — more energy, more enjoyment, more potential, more purpose, more life.”

Also, perhaps another cup of coffee and tasty bowl of oatmeal!

 

Short link to this article: https://k-p.li/2Oxlkue

 

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