Foodservice Operation of the Month

Get to know Centra Health’s Timothy Schoonmaker

See what’s in store for Schoonmaker’s operation, which was named FSD’s November Foodservice Operation of the Month.

Here's what the future holds for Centra Health in Lynchburg, Va., in the words of Corporate Director of Nutrition Services Timothy Schoonmaker.

Q: What are your goals for foodservice in the coming year?

I want to focus on our community health facet. We have a new division where we're looking at how we do outreach to the community, and how we can focus on taking care of people in our city.

We just did a community impact report, and food and nutrition has been identified as one of the key pieces of a community’s needs. So while I'm not quite sure what that will look like yet, certainly I'm at the table for that conversation, and I want to really see how we can help impact the health of our community.

Q: What have you learned from working through the COVID crisis?

It has for sure taught me that having a plan for anything and everything is important. If you want to be able to overcome all obstacles, you must be able to be flexible and adapt. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the unknown—you just have to keep trying things until you figure out what works.

Q: Which pandemic-era lessons or operational changes will you continue, if any?

We’ve changed quite a few things in terms of the way our foods are presented, prepared and served. We changed up our deli and our grill format as well as our display formats at our campuses, for example, and I think we will continue to do that.

It’s a fresher format, it's better presented and it has been well received by our customers. We’ll also continue some of the grab-and-go offerings in our cafes, which customers have loved. Another big thing has been the variety: We’ve been getting away from those cycle menus, instead getting creative and just being able to serve what we have on hand.

Q: What makes your operation excel?

A very engaged leadership team that always keeps looking forward and moving forward, particularly in terms of always being on the cutting edge of innovation and looking out for the best interests of our caregivers.

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