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BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE CONCEPT WINNER 2011: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE CONCEPT WINNER 2011: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

Those Who Dine Together, Dine Better

WINNER: OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

ENTRY: ERNIE'S CAFÉ AT DODD REHABILITATION HOSPITAL

THE BIG IDEA: Ernie's Café is a sit-down restaurant with a restaurant-style menu that allows patients at Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital to eat in a comfortable, quality, communal environment that increases their social skills interactions, improves their confidence with eating in a group, involves family, stimulates their appetites, improves their nutrition intake and increases their satisfaction with their foodservice at the hospital. It is an innovative approach to solving the problem of depression and alienation that some rehab patients feel through the often extended stays they must endure.

At Ernie's, patients are greeted by a hostess who seats them (tables are designed to accommodate differently sized wheelchairs). They then order from a restaurant style menu that includes foods with different textures to meet varying diet requirements. The food is produced to order by sous chefs in the dining room.

The result: a jump in consumption of food served from an average of 50-70% in the traditional feeding program to 90-100% once Ernie's opened.

At other times, Ernie's also serves as a multipurpose space for social activities like chef demos, movie nights and communal projects. There's also an organic garden outside the building that some patients help cultivate as part of their rehab programs.

PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:

Mike Folino
Assistant Director, Nutrition Services

Drew Patterson
Assistant Director, Nutrition Services

Lynne Genter
Nursing Director, Rehab Services

Erica O'Donnell
Assistant Director, Nutrition Services

Julie Jones
Director, Nutrition Services

JEM & Associates (consultant)

Ruck Shockey and Associates (consultant)

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