After nearly a century in its downtown Annapolis (MD) location, Anne Arundel Medical Center moved last month to a new $65 million facility three miles away. Staff, equipment and 80 patients made the early Sunday transfer without much of a hitch in early December.
In the middle of it all was the foodservice department, which had to serve breakfast at the old site, lunch at the new and meanwhile feed employees and moving personnel at both.
The first hot meal from the new kitchen came Sunday night, a filet mignon/redskin potatoes feast that is the hospital’s usual Sunday dinner offering.
“We got more equipment but less space, though it is a better work flow,” says Mary Ellen Tuma, director of food & nutrition. The new facility is actually an existing structure, a women’s center that had been a branch operation of the main center. The kitchen includes a new fryer, charcoal broiler and combi oven.
The big challenge for Tuma is transporting bulk food from the kitchen to the acute care tower through a tunnel. Trays are then assembled and served from pantries located on each patient floor.
“It’s a new process and it’s a little bumpy,” Tuma admits.
Tuma’s staff must also manage a 200-seat cafeteria located upstairs from the main kitchen. Changes from the old cafeteria layout include a madeto- order deli, a pizza machine and a grill that has been turned to face customers.
“We tripled sales the first week as a lot of office staff and the community came to see the hospital,” Tuma recalls.
Tuma’s biggest concern is staff retention as the new location makes commuting a little more difficult for some personnel. “But we haven’t lost anybody yet,” she says proudly.