Niagara University to help enhance hospital’s foodservice program

The college of hospitality and tourism was called upon to design the café and improve patient scores at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

Published in Healthcare Spotlight

Administrators at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, in New York, have turned to an old partner to give them a new perspective on the hospital’s foodservice program. The hospital has teamed up with the college of hospitality and tourism management at Niagara University to help them design a new cafeteria and improve patient satisfaction scores.

According to Pat Bradley, director of marketing and communications, tapping into the college’s local talent was a natural fit. "We use a lot of Niagara students as interns,” Bradley says. “I even have a couple in my office. So when the hospital decided it wanted to redo the cafeteria, we thought about asking the university for help."

Joseph Ruffolo, the hospital’s CEO, says one goal of the partnership will be to replace the old foodservice space with a new café that will provide more menu choices, improve traffic flow and give customers a more inviting ambiance.

In addition, students will help to design an incentive program for employees that the hospital hopes will improve patient satisfaction.

“Niagara students and staff will work at customer satisfaction from the standpoint of the healthcare consumer,” Ruffolo says. “That perspective will benefit our patients and their families.”

Rev. James Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University, says that although the university and the hospital have worked together in the past, this is the first formal agreement the two parties have entered into.

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