Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CIA Launches Course to Improve Food Quality in Healthcare Facilities

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has launched a first-of-its-kind course to raise the quality of food served at hospitals and other health care facilities nationwide. Foodservice Management in Health Care (MGMT 411) is an elective business management course for second-semester CIA seniors. It is believed no other college course of this nature is being offered at this time.

With the aging American population, people are spending more time in hospitals, rehab centers, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Foodservice plays an important role in both the health and quality of life of patients and residents. At the same time, managing budgets is also important. The new CIA course introduces students to the challenges of running a health care foodservice operation and prepares them for management positions in that field.

 CIA graduate Anthony Fischetti '78 (in baseball cap), executive chef at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, shows the kitchen of the Poughkeepsie, NY hospital to CIA students and instructor Lynne Eddy.

Foodservice Management in Health Care provides an overview of this type of culinary career, and covers topics ranging from kitchen operations, nutrition principles, and menu planning to procurement and purchasing, patient confidentiality, and even the effect of new health care reform laws. These subjects will be taught through in-class lectures; guest speakers, such as CEOs and foodservice directors of regional health care facilities; and visits to hospitals, including New York City's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

For one of the first class sessions, students visited Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY and received an orientation to the hospital's extensive foodservice operation. For the capstone project of this course, students will integrate what they learn with their previous three-plus years of CIA studies in both food and management to develop recommendations for improving health care foodservice. They will present their recommendations to the executive leadership of three Hudson Valley hospitals in March.

For more information, visit www.ciachef.edu.