Foodservice's role in healing

health food medicine stethoscope

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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