Portland VA Celebrates 1 Year of Room Service - VA Portland Health Care System
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Portland VA Celebrates 1 Year of Room Service

Nutrition and Food Services Ambassador Valory Simpson and Food Transporter Len Ackerman

Nutrition and Food Services Ambassador Valory Simpson (Army '84-'87) and Food Transporter Len Ackerman (Air Force '84-'88) stop for a quick photo while delivering meals to inpatient Veterans at Portland VA Medical Center.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
After years of research, planning, construction, training and a lot of determination, Nutrition and Food Services (NFS) launched the Room Service program one year ago in February 2018.

Room Service is a patient-focused meal service program that allows the patient to choose when they receive their meal and what they will eat. Immediately after going live with Room Service, our Veterans became more engaged in their nutrition therapy by participating in nutrient counting and asking questions about their diet in real-time. Food waste was reduced dramatically through preparing only what is ordered/when it is ordered, and by our patients eating much more of the meals served.

In its first year, Room Service proved itself by improving patient engagement, satisfaction and nutritional care. The program also provides value through reduced food waste and cost savings, as well as an improved NFS employee work experience. Nutrition and Food Services supports the VHA mission by providing exceptional nutrition care to the Veterans we serve!

Words from our Nutrition and Food Services staff:

"Room Service offers us the flexibility to take advantage of seasonal products. We’re able to modify the menu with weekly and seasonal specials to offer variety to the Veterans with a cost savings to NFS." – Joe Jensen, Cook

"The new system allows for greater control of timing for insulin to be given to match with meal delivery." - Kathleen Decastro, Clinical Dietetic Technician

"NFS employees really stepped up to provide great customer service. Even when we’re short staffed, our employees have a cheerful spirit because they’re working directly with the Veterans." – Dennis Anderson, Food Service Supervisor

"The Veterans love the empowerment of being able to choose their own meals" – Ralph Wieder, Clinical Dietitian Nutrition and Food Services staff Valory Simpson and Tom Bordon (left) and J.J. Halliday.

Nutrition and Food Services Tray Line staff member Patricia Hampton and Ambassador Tom Bordon (Army '74-'79) prepare meals at Portland VA Medical Center and VAPORHCS Executive Chef Jesse "J.J." Halliday (Army National Guard '03-'07) finishes up cooking a made-to-order chicken inpatient meal right before it is delivered.

More photos of Nutrition and Food Services staff. VAPORHCS Executive Chef Jesse

VAPORHCS Executive Chef Jesse "J.J." Halliday adds side dishes and sauce to a Veteran's meal before it gets passed to the Tray Line for other items and a quality check and then on to the VCS Transporter and Ambassador to deliver the freshly made meal to a Portland VA inpatient.

Thank you to our Veterans for letting us serve you! 


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