Becky Ellis: Community partner

Becky Ellis has enhanced the foodservice program at Carilion Clinic by enhancing patient foodservice.

At a Glance

  • 1.5 million patient meals served each year
  • $17 million budget
  • 217 FTEs
  • 7 retail outlets


Becky Ellis has enhanced the foodservice program at Carilion Clinic by:

  • Fostering partnerships with a number of organizations, including two local colleges, the ACF and Health Care Without Harm
  • Promoting health and wellness on the retail side through the Choose Wisely program and a Choice Plus vending program
  • Enhancing patient foodservice through a new ordering system that allows patients to order meals closer to mealtimes
  • Overseeing the renovation of the 300-seat Mountain View Café at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, the system’s largest facility

The patient experience

With the goal of Carilion’s projects being to enhance the patient experience, Ellis and her team have most recently focused on improving the foodservice portion with a new menu and ordering system. The menu has been altered to provide the widest variety of items that a cycle menu can, while offering options for the growing number of allergy-driven and gluten-sensitive diets.

Along with the menu changes has been an alteration of the ordering system, as well as new non-skid meal trays and tableware. Diet techs now use Ultrabooks to take patients’ orders much closer to mealtimes.

“It has been amazing watching our techs learning all the technology they need for the system, and the patients really like being able to order meals right before service,” Ellis says. “We’ve implemented the program in three units at our largest hospital and are planning to expand it to the rest of the hospital shortly.”

Shockey says Ellis’ management skills have enabled the department to make so many changes. “The way [Becky] manages her team is phenomenal,” Shockey notes. “She has different managers and different levels, each with their own different needs, and she is able to give them the latitude they need while maintaining control.”

Ellis herself credits the skills of her leadership team with giving her the ability to be that inquisitive, probing soul.

“We have top-notch leaders, and I rely on them to come up with new ideas, to study the trends and be innovative,” she says. “My role is to put the pieces of the puzzle together and find the resources that will help our team succeed.”

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