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Hospital Power Players: Christiana Hospital

Hospital Power Players: Christiana Hospital

A special report from FM and Technomic provides a detailed look into both patient and retail foodservice operations at the 50 largest hospitals.

23. Christiana Hospital, Newark, Del.

Licensed Beds: 1,196
Management: Self-operated
Foodservice Head: Debbie Learn Alchon, MS, RD, corporate director, food & nutrition services, Christiana Care Health System
Avg. Daily In-patient Census: 800
Avg. No. In-patient Meals/Day: 2,100
No. of Retail Dining Outlets: 5
Total Annual Retail Sales: $4 million
Dining/Nutrition Services FTEs: 185*

Last December, Christiana installed Heat on Demand technology preliminary to the start of its renovation of its production kitchen to implement a planned hybrid system for its patient meal service. The upgrade will feature a cooking battery basically connected to a set of two traylines that will allow a large percentage of the menu to be produced in heat-and-serve style in small batches a la minute by a dedicated cook.

Currently, food production is split between two serving areas, the production kitchen and a satellite. The food is prepared in bulk and kept in warmers to support the serving lines. The production kitchen, which was built in 1985 for a retherm system in small pantries for 400 patients, isn’t compatible with the present style of service when some 700 trays per meal have to be prepared.

The new kitchen design will also allow the production of specific items such as soups, sauces and other bulk items using a cook chill system complete with kettles, chiller and refrigerated storage. These products could then be sent to other foodservice areas to support their needs and provide a higher level of consistency throughout the system.

Plans also call for the construction in the next five years of a full room service satellite kitchen in the Women’s and Children building.

Christiana’s main cafeteria, the West End Café, employs a scatter system style of service that features a cook-to-order grill with the regular grill favorites and daily open-faced sandwiches. The pizza station produces a variety of different styles and toppings with one using a whole-wheat crust, all made from scratch on a one-week cycle. There’s also a full fresh salad bar with specialty salads daily along with fresh vegetables, fruit and grains. The hot buffet operates on a one-week cycle and focuses on ethnic cuisines and vegetarian offerings. Grab-and-go entrees and sushi are available for those in a rush. These offerings are all anchored by a 21-day cycle hot line with all items—entrees, soups, roasted meats and cedar plank salmon from carving station along with daily specials—made in house. Dessert is brought in from a local bakery and creamery.

West End Café also provides a brunch style “midnight meal” service for late-night employees and visitors (averaging some 250 a night) with both a set menu and specials consisting of hot and grab-and-go breakfast items, soups, salads, grill items and entrees from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. every night.

The West End also supplies the Lakeview Cafe in the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center from its kitchen, which offers staff there an onsite meal service option. Other onsite retail dining options at Christiana include an Au Bon Pain unit and two Brew Ha Ha coffee/snack/grab-and-go kiosks.

*Includes 11 clinical nutrition staff

TAGS: Healthcare
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