According to the old wives’ tale, an apple a day may keep the doctor away. However with the scrumptious food, gorgeous views and personalized inpatient menus available at the new Apple A Day Café at Kirby Medical Center, no one will want to stay away.
Kirby will have its own food service at the new Kirby Medical Center which will provide one more way for Kirby to continue its tradition of excellence for patients, guests and employees.
“We now have control of our own food service which was a very important aspect of the move to the new facility,” said Angela Russell, Director. Russell is in charge of developing the new food service department in partnership with Sara Wade, hospital diet technician. “We will be able to offer a wide variety of nutritional choices to our patients, guests and employees and the dining experience will be further enhanced by the café placement in the beautiful new medical center.”
Having its own food service will also allow Kirby to offer room service to inpatients. From 6:15 a.m.-6:15 p.m. patients will simply have to pick up the phone to order a meal. Food service associates will be available to assist them with choices and they will be offered a variety of options and alternatives in keeping with their dietary needs.
“Patients will be able to order what they want, when they want. This helps tremendously with patient satisfaction, which is a focus of ours, as well as with food waste. It is going to be more like a hotel than a hospital,” said Russell. The room service menu will have a wide selection of hot entrees and cold items and breakfast will be served all day long.
Patients are not the only ones benefitting from the food service program. Visitors and employees will have the same large variety of food choices in the Apple A Day Café, located at the end of the promenade. The café will offer a hot breakfast and lunch as well as grab-and-go items like muffins, pre-made salads, ice cream novelties, yogurt parfaits and more from 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The café also offers more than delicious, homemade food.
“This café gives employees a beautiful place to go and eat their meals and it will provide an opportunity for more camaraderie. It will open a new venue for us to relax and meet,” said Sara Wade, hospital diet technician. The café features a large, open floor plan that is filled with light from windows that line the dining area with views to the natural areas outside. Outdoor dining is also available.
The Kirby employees played a large part in the planning for the café. The entire staff was surveyed and asked for favorite meals they would like to see on the menu. Those favorites, like chicken cacciatore, were then incorporated into the meal choices. The staff also voted on the final name of the café.
“The name really goes well with our health and wellness emphasis throughout the medical center. It is light and friendly and has been easily incorporated into the entire food service program. And in keeping with the apple name, all food service associates will be wearing red so that they are easily recognizable,” said Wade.
The person wearing the red chef’s coat will be area resident Judy Galt Hired in February to be the lead chef in the food service program, Galt is no stranger to food service. She has done catering in the area for 22 years, has worked with Allerton Mansion and has had her own Cajun restaurant in Bement.
“This was a key position for us. We knew having a quality lead chef was going to be essential to making this food service program successful. Judy rose to the top right away. We are very lucky to have her in charge,” said Russell. Having a professional chef in charge of the program will allow the medical center to offer mostly homemade and from-scratch meals.
“People are truly going to appreciate the quality of the food we will serve at Kirby Medical Center,” said Wade. Having spent a lot of time in New Orleans, Galt hopes to introduce Cajun and southern cooking into the menu with gumbo, etouffee, red beans and rice, cornbread and biscuits. Her area-famous fried chicken will also be offered once a month.
Rest assured, all menus and food items are scrutinized by Wade to make sure all options are healthy and appropriate for patients, specifically those with dietary restrictions.
“Our food service program and the Apple A Day Café are going to be a huge benefit to everyone involved with Kirby Medical Center. This is just one important aspect of our commitment to continue to offer exceptional health and wellness care to our friends and neighbors,” said Russell.
This is the second of a seven-piece series on the new Kirby Medical Center. The third article, “More than Medicine at Kirby Medical Center,” will focus on a few of the new features at KMC.