Healthcare Heroes: Food and Nutrition Services
Jun 22, 2020 Katie Rosenblum
Food is one of the most important parts of life. It not only nourishes us, but it can also provide comfort and a sense of normalcy during hard times.
That's why the Food and Nutrition Services team at Cedars-Sinai is so valuable, not only to patients but also to visitors and staff.
"It's important to me and everyone else that we are taking care of the patients, and it makes family members feel more comfortable that they are being well taken care of."
"Our main goal is to provide excellent care and service as well as nutritious and delicious meals in a safe matter," says Bari Goldman, assistant manager of Inpatient Food Services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the day-to-day for team members, who are responsible for in-room dining for patients, as well as food in the Ray Charles Cafeteria.
In the cafeteria, the salad bar and self-service food options are no longer available. Instead, options are prepackaged by the Food and Nutrition Services team.
"Every day we come in, it's trying to figure out a different way for folks to be comfortable and feel safe with what we're providing them," says Debra Castro, associate director of Retail Food Operations.
One of the biggest changes the staff has adapted to is the way food orders are taken from patients. Staff used to visit patients in person to get meal orders, but now they've shifted to taking orders over the phone.
"We call every single one of the patients and get their daily meal selections—breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks if they wish," says Bari.
Kimberly Lopez, a Nutrition Care representative, takes pride in helping patients put together their meals.
"It's important to me and everyone else that we are taking care of the patients, and it makes family members feel more comfortable that they are being well taken care of," she says.