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Stories From the Field

A Story of Food Service

Libby Sarro - Riverview Healthcare Community

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My name is Libby Sarro and I come to you with a story of food service. I am the Administrator of a 190 bed home in the state of Rhode Island. My background is as a registered dietitian (for 28 years) before I became an administrator. I have always been passionate about independence and choice when it came to food. We have a wonderful space here at Riverview.  In fact, I have 7 dining rooms. My vision was to go trayless for everyone. We have accomplished this for the lunch meal! What a team we have! It took 9 months of planning and practice, with a full team effort, and we have moved ahead. The residents love the formal dining service with table cloths, china and waitresses. The housekeeping staff set up the dining rooms, the certified nursing assistants serve residents who stay in their rooms. This is accomplished via steam table. Activities helps passing drinks, and the nursing assistants waitress. After service, housekeeping comes back in and scraps dishes, cleans tables and vacuums.

This was a huge undertaking. The residents love it, many more people go to the dining room, meal service has decreased by twenty minutes on the floors. So many positives! However, the best part of this whole experience is that we have been redecorating the main dining room on the ground floor and turned this into a restaurant for lunch. Any resident is allowed to choose where they would like to dine. The restaurant is a first come first serve basis (no assigned seating) which promotes socialization! The activity department runs the main diningroom. We service wine at lunch, it is waitress service. It is the newest restaurant in town! The local newspaper has covered our grand opening. The residents say they cannot believe that they may go out to a restaurant again, it has rocked their world. Culture change at it's finest. - Libby Sarro, Riverview Healthcare Community in Rhode Island

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