UTMC food service workers receive certificates, recognition

November 15, 2011 | UToday
By Feliza Casano

Staff of the Department of Food and Nutrition Services on Health Science Campus graduated from a certificate program that focused on customer service Thursday, Nov. 10.

Ioan Duca congratulated some 80 employees in the Department of Food and Nutrition Services who received their ServSafe certification in iCARE University as UT Medical Center moves to ensure an exceptional experience in all aspects of patient care.

“This is a celebration for our graduating employees,” said Ioan Duca, UT service excellence officer. “Most importantly, while our department used to focus on processing orders and cooking food, we now focus on our customers and serving them.”

About 80 employees graduated from the certificate program, resulting from a course that lasted about two months.

“One thing we’ve been trying in the last six months is to change the perception of food service at the hospital,” said Thomas Torres, food and nutrition director. “Our department is important, and our employees are important to this organization. We want to go beyond the expectations and perceptions and take pride in the accomplishments of the department — not only graduation from this course, but also all the accomplishments in the last six months.”

Dr. Scott Scarborough, senior vice president and executive director of UT Medical Center, presented the certificates to the employees.

“We were struggling in service because we felt very mechanical,” Duca said. “This ceremony represents a transformation from that mechanical processing into a personal experience in which we serve those who come to our establishment and engage them with a smile.”

“This was really a journey. It was not easy, and we experienced all parts of the spectrum from highly positive to highly negative. We are very proud of our employees’ achievements and want to show our appreciation,” Torres said.

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