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One On One
Kathleen Carrozza (left) faced the challenge of making meal planning software catch up to the new reality of coronavirus.

One On One With: Nutrition and special diets for coronavirus patients

RD and Assistant Food Service Director Kalthleen Carrozza recounts how the team at Stony Brook University Hospital in New York has pivoted, improvised and learned about the nutrition and operations side of caring for COVID-19 patients.

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If healthcare patient feeding had been a well-oiled machine, coronavirus has totally been a wrench thrown into the works. But the healthcare dining staff at Stony Brook Hospital—with no time to spare—overhauled what patient feeding looks like. At the highest point, about 70% of patients there were suffering from coronavirus. Those counts are down now, but the hospital is wary and ready for a second wave of the virus should that occur.

Kathleen Carrozza, RD, assistant director of food and retail services at Stony Brook Hospital, has more than two decades of experience and has been ready to take on this new challenge. She shares with us the realities of feeding patients—hot trays went out the window and paper bags of cold items were used instead on floors dining staff could not enter. The patients—some lacking sense of taste and smell—were sometimes too weak to want to eat anything, so it was up to Carrozza and the team to find solutions: chicken soup is one; ice cream is another. Listen to hear more of Kathleen’s story.

Contact Tara at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie.

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