Foodservice's role in healing

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Marydale DeBor, an associate administrator at the Yale School of Medicine, teaches students what she believes to be the key ingredient to health, disease prevention and recovery: hospital partnerships with foodservice. DeBor spoke with FoodService Director about hospital foodservice’s role in healing.

Q: How should hospital foodservice directors approach their roles?

A: If foodservice directors think of themselves as caregivers, think of others in the hospital environment as their partners, and work with clinicians—especially since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. There’s a lot they can do to be a part of the health care practice paradigm. 

Q: What’s the biggest challenge to this mission?

A: The biggest problem I see in big companies is that they are constrained by the supply chain and the higher-ups at the community say, “You’ve got to order here and nowhere else.” That locked-in supply chain is a very, very big barrier to food that can help heal and put people in a good physical and mental state.

Q: How can hospital operators keep costs down?

A: Don’t spend a lot of money creating a zillion different menu options. You just need the right amount of choice of high-quality ingredients.

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