We asked the Silver Plate Class of 2014 a few questions to get an inside look at what makes them the operator all-stars they are today. Find out what they had to say about passion for foodservice, career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.
Lisette Coston, Executive Director of Support Services, Saint Francis Health System
Coston received the 2014 Silver Plate Award in the Healthcare category. She was nominated by Basic American Foods and Schwan's Food Service.
What do you enjoy most about your career in foodservice?
What I enjoy the most about my career in healthcare foodservice are the people, having the opportunity to work with multiple populations: patients, physicians, staff and visitors. Being part of an organizational team, I have the challenge and opportunity to learn and grow professionally in a fast paced healthcare environment.
Tell us about your biggest career accomplishment.
My newest career accomplishment is being promoted to Executive Director of Support Services for the system; not only leading Nutrition Services, but Environmental Services, Transportation, and Laundry Services as well. All of these areas intertwine; it is all about customer service and delivering an excellent experience.
Specific to foodservice, some of my major accomplishments include:
- Advanced technology, everything we do in our department is managed by a computer program, even the carousels that rotate groceries in the storeroom.
- Created upscale physician dining facilities so physicians can dine and collaborate in an inviting environment.
- Planned multiple renovation projects in various retail venues and kitchen spaces throughout the system.
- Designed and planned brand new kitchens and retail spaces.
- Converted patient meal delivery systems for three hospitals from cook-chill to room service.
- Implemented a payroll deduction and centralized cash register system in 6 retail locations, everyone pays the same price wherever they dine.
- Applied a temperature monitoring project for the entire system (900 temperature control units serving food service, laboratory, radiology, surgery, nursing units, and physician offices).
- Nutrition Facts labeling of all retail food offerings.
- System wide vending program.
- Healthy beverage and menu offering program called "Go Health" which meets defined nutritional goals established by our clinical dietitians.
How is your segment making a difference for the foodservice industry?
My segment is making a difference by constantly changing and adapting to the growing needs of the health system. We have to be innovative and fiscally responsible despite the emergent uncertainty of healthcare. We have to work smarter, never sacrifice quality, utilize technology to its fullest and stay current with the industry trends.
What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?
My advice for someone new to the foodservice industry is to embrace change because foodservice and healthcare are constantly changing, it is never sedentary. Collaborate with peers, industry partners, get involved with local and national organizations, network with others in the workplace, listen carefully to your customers and always treat others with dignity and respect. Lastly, make time for yourself and your family.
What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?
It means my foodservice team, Saint Francis Health System, and I am receiving the ultimate food service recognition for delivering excellent meal service to the many thousands of customers we serve 365 days a year, for being fiscally responsible, and innovative. I am blessed to work for an organization that has allowed me to grow professionally and achieve all that my team has accomplished throughout my career.