Rebecca McCullough, R.D.

Rebecca has enhanced foodservice by supporting the company at new account openings and mentoring a number of employees.

Why Selected?

According to Jenny Overly, director of nutrition, health & wellness, innovations at Unidine, Rebecca has enhanced foodservice by:

  • Working with residents to create and test calorie-dense smoothies to replace commercial nutritional supplements
  • Supporting the company at new account openings and mentoring a number of employees
  • Becoming one of three certified trainers for the MyUSuite menu management and nutrition system

Details

Director of Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Senior Culinary Group (Unidine), Boston, MA
Age: 26
Education: B.S. in dietetics from Central Arkansas University
Years at organization: 3

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

My role in the corporatewide rollout of Unidine’s signature program, Fresh Benefits, which I worked on closely with our corporate team for the past three years. Fresh Benefits allows patients and residents to receive extra calories and protein to meet nutritional needs without relying on commercial supplements. All the menu items are prepared fresh in house using natural foods that are enhanced with calorically dense ingredients and protein. It truly showcases how clinical and culinary integration enhances quality of life and dignity within our healthcare and senior living communities.

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

Be yourself, work hard and remember to always have fun with whatever you pursue.

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

The biggest challenge, being so involved in both the clinical and social aspect of long-term care, is getting attached to residents.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

When I was based at one of our accounts as the clinical nutrition manager and our team created enriched smoothies to replace commercial supplements. One of our residents on a tube feed wasn’t consuming enough nutrients and calories orally and she refused to drink the commercial supplements when we tried to wean her off the tube. We started her on enriched smoothies and eventually got her weaned. Her husband came every afternoon to sit with her while she drank the smoothies and wrote me a personal thank-you letter saying how my ability to think outside the box truly enhanced her nutrition and showcased how much I truly cared.

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I would like to become more involved with dietetic internships and Unidine partnerships.   

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

I was walking through the airport to my gate, wondering why so many people were looking at me strangely, until I boarded the plane and realized I still had my hairnet on. 

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
chili spaghetti

Iconic local dishes like Cincinnati chili may not be entirely healthy, but they are incredibly popular. Across the country, K-12 operators are finding ways to add these foods to their lunch menus while still meeting their nutritional requirements. How are they adapting popular recipes and bringing them to schools—and is it worth it?

Cincinnati chili has been a staple of Mason City Schools lunches for as long as anyone can remember. Located just outside of Cincinnati, the school system serves its chili in two traditional ways: covering a pile of spaghetti, or atop a cheese Coney dog...

Ideas and Innovation
torch flame

There’s more than one way to open a wine bottle. When a corkscrew is nowhere to be found, David Brue—chef de cuisine and production manager for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s central production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio—reaches for his butane torch.

“I can never find a corkscrew anywhere, but for some reason, I always have a torch,” Brue says. “Heat the neck of the bottle carefully, and the cork pops right out.”

Managing Your Business
uconn gluten free bakery

When Amarillo Independent School District opened a central bakery , the foodservice team faced years of challenges: getting a handle on equipment, refining recipes and planning for shrinkage, says Michael Brungo, residential district manager of dining services for Chartwells at the Amarillo, Texas, district. Through trial and error, the right solutions at the bakery—which provides sliced bread and sandwich buns for the district’s 55 schools—rose to the top.

Though kitchens in general can be a minefield of issues, bakeries present some unique challenges thanks in part to the finicky...

Managing Your Business
food safety manager paperwork

Food safety can be a lot to handle, requiring plenty of paperwork and diligence to ensure a kitchen complies with health regulations. It’s important to assess the structure of a food safety program —and to know what’s required, and what’s just good to have on hand.

In recent years, as Virginia Tech’s foodservice operations have expanded, so has its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points strategy. The Blacksburg, Va., university doubled its food safety staff to two employees, in addition to a training project coordinator and a manager to teach basic food safety classes to...

FSD Resources