Making the Connection

Making the Connection

THE PASSING OF THE HOTLINE. Sharon Cox, outgoing President, passes the traditional HFM symbol of leadership to incoming President Linda Lafferty.

OPERATOR OF THE YEAR: Patti Dollarhide is all smiles as she receives HFM's Angelo Gagliano "Operator of the year" award

(clockwise): Joyce Scott-Smith (center) and Tamra Merryman (right) of UPMC receive one of HFM's Partnership and Leadership awards from outgoing HFM President Sharon Cox (left); Swedish Medical Center's Executive Chef Eric Eisenberg and FSD Kris Schroeder during the HFM Culinary Competition and then beaming, after winning first place with their entry.

Gathering in central Florida August for their annual National Training Conference, members of the National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management (HFM) explored techniques for better departmental management, shared operational case studies and recognized members who have demonstrated exceptional achievements and leadership over the past year.

Keynote sessions emphasized leadership skill set development while breakout workshops focused on technology, HR and culinary applications.

These included presentations by Walter Scheib III, former White House executive chef; by Michael Osterholm, PhD, associate director of the Department of Homeland Security's National Center for Food Protection, on pandemic contingency planning; and by Michael Eagan, PhD, vice president of the Dallas Marketing Group, who ran several benchmarking workshops.

HFM's Culinary Competition, sponsored by Tyson Foods, remains a highlight of the conference.The 2006 winning team was that of Executive Chef Eric Eisenberg and Director of Nutrition Services Kris Schroeder, from-Swedish Medical Center for their entry, Mojito Chicken Cubanos al Espeton with Machego Fondu and Savory Mango-Pinto Bean Puree."

In the organization's business session, outgoing president Sharon Cox shared the results of extensive membership and market surveys the organization has recently concluded. These will be used to guide an aggressive membership drive and HFM program development over the next few years, she said.

At its Awards Banquet, HFM gave its top honor, the Angelo Gagliano "Operator of the Year" award, to Patti Dollarhide, director of Nutrition Services at Via Christi Medical Center.

HFM also presented two of its Partnership and Leadership Awards, given out annually to members that have demonstrated exceptional innovation with the support of a senior administrator.

The 2006 winners were Joyce Scott-Smith, director at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, along with Tamra Merryman, vice president of the UPMC system's Center for Quality Innovation; and Lorna Kirsch, director of nutrition services, and Deborah Uhl, vice president, both of Clarian Health Partners.

Finally, HFM "Spotlight" awards, which recognize operational innovation, were given to Cathy Babbs, director at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System, Lisette Coston, director at St. Francis Health System, and Jeff Gilmore, director at Southern Ohio Medical Center.