Emily Abbott

Emily Abbott, supervisor of Nutrition Services at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, was hired as a nutrition assistant delivering room service meals, but she immediately demonstrated leadership skills and was promoted to a department lead.

Details

Supervisor of Nutrition Services, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Age: 29
Education: B.S. in nutrition and foodservice from Central Washington University, Ellensburg
Years at organization: 2

Why Selected?

Kris Schroeder, administrative director of support services, says: Emily was hired as a nutrition assistant delivering room service meals. She demonstrated leadership skills immediately and was shortly promoted to a department lead. She sees an issue, takes ownership and actively implements solutions.

Some of the recent projects Emily has led include developing a communication plan and template to share information on items such as operational issues and staff shortages, which has greatly improved cross-shift communication, and reevaluating the standard for thickened food items after noticing inconsistencies and training the staff on the new standard.

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

I take diet tech students as interns. I love educating people. They come in and they don’t know a lot about foodservice and I get to expose them to this huge kitchen.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

A fresh look. When you’ve been in foodservice a long time, you get used to how thing are done. Also, I’m never afraid to say I don’t know how to do something.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Don’t sweat the small stuff and how you do one thing is how you do everything.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

I look young and I excel as a leader, so I tend to be in roles that typically people who are older than me would be in. I think people are taken aback when they see me as the supervisor because I am young and I look even younger.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

When someone needs help and I get to help them accomplish something. For example, if a patient has a restricted diet and is struggling with what they can eat off the menu, I love talking with them and helping them make that selection. I can open their world to what we have available. We have a very extensive menu, and sometimes patients don’t realize what we can do.

Under 30