Changes underway for Coshocton Hospital Dietary Services

| July 29, 2014

COSHOCTON – Fresh paint, new flooring and enhanced lighting are only part of the changes coming to improve the dining experience at the Coshocton Hospital Cafeteria. With a three-week remodel of the cafeteria scheduled to begin in August, plans are underway to make significant changes to the menu with a focus on selection, quality and healthy choices.

Coshocton Hospital recently partnered with Sodexo, a leading food service provider with nationwide experience in health care food service management, to manage the daily operations of its dietary services. With this new collaboration, changes have begun toward the enhancement of food preparation and delivery for patient care and for the visitors and employees who frequent the cafeteria. As the hospital prepares to roll out a new menu of fresh food selections, Sodexo will begin construction to further enhance the dining experience with renovations to the cafeteria line.

During the renovations, it is necessary to relocate the dining cafeteria to a temporary location. Beginning after the evening meal service on Wednesday, Aug. 13, food will be served in the large dining room at the west end of the cafeteria. Visitors entering through the front door of the hospital will be directed to a temporary cafeteria entrance. The short-term cafeteria line will remain in place from breakfast service on Aug. 14 through the renovation, serving a hot meal selection, hamburgers and hot dogs, and grab-and-go meal items. The new cafeteria line is scheduled to open on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The temporary changes to the cafeteria serving line will not affect patient meal services. The hospital kitchen will remain open throughout the project to provide full meal service to patients and to support the temporary cafeteria line.

The food service line will offer new attractions like a “comfort food” station that features favorite dining options. There will also be a sauté station where foods such as made-to-order stir-fry and freshly carved meats will be available. A new pizza and grill station will offer quick favorites like personal pizzas, grilled burgers and chicken tenders. Grab-and-go snack selections will continue to be available for people on the go, but the new cafeteria design will allow fresh preparations for those who can stay and enjoy lunch in the new surroundings.

Since good nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, work has been underway for weeks to ensure the menu provides a good balance of food choices. Answering the request for a broadened selection of healthy food options, dietary manager Don Palmer responded by testing an expanded salad bar featuring fresh greens and an assortment of more than 20 toppings.

“The salad bar was our first major change toward offering health-minded selections and it has been very well received,” said Don Palmer, director of dietary services. “These salad bar selections will certainly be a focal point in our new design.”

To help guide the menu design for both the cafeteria and inpatient food service, the hospital recently welcomed Krista Mathews, RDN, LD, to the staff as a fulltime registered dietitian. Mathews is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She majored in Medical Dietetics with a concentration in Medical Nutrition Therapy. As a registered dietitian, she will work with inpatients and outpatients to provide nutrition assessment and medical nutrition therapy. She is also working closely with the dietary staff to oversee the menu to ensure meals are satisfying and nutritionally appropriate for the hospital’s patients. She will also provide guidance to the dietary staff as they develop wellness options for the cafeteria. After the renovations are completed, she will work with Don Palmer to coordinate a new design for person-to-person patient meal orders, a new system estimated to be in place by early December.

“We’re excited about the food selections we’ll be able to offer our patients, visitors and community through this re-design of our dining service,” said Palmer. “We regret the inconvenience of a temporary cafeteria line, but it’s an important first step in rolling out a fresh, new food service design for our community.”



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