Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital
Coal Township, Pa.
Biggest challenge you’ve overcome:
Maintaining the balance of consistently offering fresh, on-trend, health-focused menu items while effectively managing our resources. Our community-based hospital does not have a large patient bed count or retail volume. Case sizes can be very large and shelf life of fresh ingredients, especially specialty items, can be very short, creating the challenge of fully utilizing the product while minimizing any waste. We have had to become very creative in how we cross-utilize products and “share” with other foodservice departments within our health system.
An important lesson learned:
Simply caring for our patients can go a long way in creating a positive patient experience. We don’t always know why a patient is in our hospital, what they are going through or what lies ahead for them, but we have such a unique and powerful opportunity to make their day through the food we serve and the extra care we can provide. … By remembering that a patient likes a specific dessert, or that they prefer ketchup with their eggs, can make them feel more comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. [It’s important to show] the patient that we are here to help them, no matter what the need is, and that no request is too small.
How you view tech differently:
I love social media and the powerful tool that it can be. I am always posting foodservice updates, promotions and new products available to generate buzz and interest, to keep our retail customers coming back. Keeping the content relevant, fresh, interesting and fun encourages more followers, giving more awareness to our department. Plus, it’s free marketing for my department, and it works!
What drew you to noncommercial:
[I was] looking for more of a work-life balance. The foodservice industry works when others party. Working in restaurants while I was in college and completing internships made me realize that I didn’t want to work every night and every weekend for the rest of my life. A relative of mine told me of a position open in the kitchen of a large healthcare system; I applied and never looked back!