Local hospital switches to room service style meals

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - When it comes to serving patients meals at South Central Regional Medical Center, the kitchen is cooking things up a little different these days.

Breakfast is served, but no longer in the traditional way.  Jones County resident Kellie Sager just gave birth to her fourth child at South Central Regional Medical Center, and this time the hospitals new hotel-style room service program has made her stay more enjoyable.

"We had a little girl last January and it was a long labor. By the time I got back to the room, I had missed breakfast. This year, when we came back, whatever you want for breakfast, what ever time you want it, you just pick up the menu, tell them and they bring it right up."

It's a new way for hospitals across the country to better serve their patients, while keeping in mind each individuals nutritional needs.

South Central, is the first hospital in Mississippi to take on the challenge of satisfying each patients palate with fresh foods cooked to order.

Chef Reddick Hebert with Don Miller and Associates healthcare consulting firm said, "Traditional tray lines, we send an order up and half of the food comes back. Now people are getting what they want. Sometimes you don't feel that well, you don't want a lot of food, so you just order what you want and it is delivered hot and fresh, exactly what you need."

Hebert has been working side by side with food service personnel for nine months to plate this new level of customer service on every tray they deliver.

SCRMC Food Service Director Jason Terry said, "When I look at the trays left over in the dish room, there is nothing left. Patients are eating what we are providing for them."

The hospital serves more than 300 meals a day and it takes more than 70 employees in the kitchen to make this new program work, said Terry.

"This has been a huge transformation for my whole department, this is a life commitment not only for the hospital but for my staff. They put a lot of work into this, what they were doing a month ago is nothing like they are doing today."

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