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Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital Dietary Team Identifies Solutions for Staff

Date: 05/15/2020

A trip to the grocery store is stressful right now. The masks, the new behavioral rules, the contagion anxiety are all very real and tough to manage. The Nutritional Services team at Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital has made some changes during the COVID-19 response to help prevent coworkers from having to stress about food after their long shifts.

Normally the cafeteria is open for breakfast and lunch. That means no access to food for staff around the dinner hour and into the night. But with some creative management, they have procured a cooler that is available 24/7 and the cafeteria staff is stocking it with healthy grab-and-go foods like sandwiches, salads, soups and healthy snacks.

“We decided as long as we were preparing the food already, we might as well make some extra for our coworkers to grab and take home,” says Barb Haskell, Nutritional Services manager.

And as an added help to those tired coworkers, the Food Services team is offering some key grocery staples for purchase 24/7, to prevent the need for stops at the store on the way home. Staff can pick up bread and half gallons of milk to take home. “It’s not just staff being tired after long shifts,” adds Barb. “I’ve had calls from staff who are at higher risk of serious illness because of underlying health conditions saying they are grateful to be able to access food when they need it in a more controlled environment.”

And thanks to the thoughtful creativity of Dede Sylvester, the lead cook, the team went a step further at Easter. They brought in packages of white eggs for staff to buy and take home to color with their children. It was one less thing staff needed to worry about during those incredibly busy days around the holiday.

The thoughtful and supportive actions of the Dietary Services team at Blue Hill demonstrate “we’re all in this together” in very practical way, making life just a little easier for those who are working on the front lines to keep our communities safe and cared for during this pandemic.