Cheryl Shimmin: Thinking ahead

Cheryl Shimmin stays on trend at Kettering Health Network.

Accomplishments

Cheryl Shimmin has transformed the Kettering Health Network by:

  • Hiring culinarians to create an upscale, on-trend menu
  • Developing the Boulevard Bakery, a retail outlet that features the system’s housemade baked goods
  • Focusing on healthy dining options without limiting choices
  • Implementing room service at all eight acute-care hospitals
  • Opening two new kitchens and cafeterias within the span of four months

Baked fresh: One new retail concept created to feature the system’s culinary talents was The Boulevard Bakery in the Kettering Medical Center, which opened in September 2010.

The concept serves Caribou Coffee as well as a variety of baked goods made on site by Leibold and his staff of four bakers. The location sells items such as Danish, scones, low-fat cookies, decorated iced cookies and cakes. Between 20 and 30 decorated cakes are sold from the bakery each week. During the holiday season, frozen piecrusts are sold from the bakery. “We sell oodles to the employees and community,” Shimmin says. “We’re selling five piecrusts for $6 and it costs maybe $2 at the most to produce that. It’s a pretty good moneymaker for us.”

Another Leibold special are chocolate bombs, which are caramel nuggets surrounded by chocolate mousse, dipped in chocolate and given a crunchy bottom. Shimmin says community members often purchase the chocolate bombs to use at their own events.

Shimmin wants to expand the Boulevard Bakery concept into the system’s other hospitals.

Healthy choices: Even with the decadence offered by the bakery, the network has a goal of promoting healthy dining with an educational background. The system is run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, so there is a strong vegetarian focus. The cafés serve meat; however, most of the daily menu options have a meat-free alternative.

“We try to incorporate healthy alternatives, such as edamame, hummus and quinoa salads,” Shimmin says. “At our hot deck, where we serve homestyle favorites like pot roast, we always have a vegetarian alternative. We’re looking at portion size. You can have your sweets and not go overboard. We’re trying to promote healthier products like whole grains into customers’ diets.”

At the newly opened Soin Medical Center, the café is incorporating the Full Plate Diet, a wellness program that incorporates more fresh food and fiber into the diet. The hospital’s café features items such as whole-grain pasta, brown rice and barley. “We believe in choice and then educate to the choice rather than taking everything away,” Shimmin says. She is accomplishing this by putting healthy items at eye level and moving less healthy items out of the line of sight.

Shimmin says the system’s retail cafés are working toward a standardized base menu, to which the different hospitals can add their own specialties.

Room service: Retail customers aren’t the only ones seeing changes in their service and menu. Shimmin and her team are in the process of implementing room service at all eight acute-care hospitals, which will be completed by the end of the year.

Room service was implemented at Kettering and Sycamore Medical Centers in 2007. Soin Medical Center, which opened Feb. 22, was designed with a room service kitchen. When Grandview Medical Center opens a new tower in May, the nutrition services department will relocate to the tower. The new kitchen will be equipped for room service. Grandview is currently using a traditional trayline service.

The hospital with the biggest change to get ready for room service will be Fort Hamilton Hospital, which currently uses cook-chill for its patient service.

“It’s like giving birth,” Shimmin says about changing all the hospitals to room service. “You think, ‘Why are we doing this again?’ You realize why you did it and then you get in the midst of it and you think, ‘I will get through this.’”

Shimmin admits the department is undergoing a lot of change in a short period of time. She also admits that she didn’t think she would be the one making these changes. When Shimmin, who grew up in the Dayton area, moved to Dallas in 1981 for her dietetic internship, she said she would never return to Dayton. When she did in 1984, she said it would be “for a little while.” Shimmin became network director last year after working at Kettering for the past 28 years.

For her part, Wilson is glad Shimmin has stuck around. “Cheryl’s greatest attribute is she is very supportive of the management team and all the employees,” Wilson says. “You can always count on her to do the right thing in any situation.”

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
green smoothie

From DanoneWave Away From Home.

Not so long ago, finding non-dairy milk in a supermarket dairy case was a challenge. But these days, that aisle is bursting with plant-based beverage choices—cow’s milk alternatives crafted from soybeans, nuts, grains or coconut, as consumer demand for these beverages has grown exponentially. According to Euromonitor, worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015.

Millennials and Gen Zers, many of them already accustomed to drinking dairy alternatives at home, expect to see some of those same choices...

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

FSD Resources