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Meal time choice for patients is now a reality at CGMH with the launch of Freshflex through Aramark

Meal time is changing at the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) and starting today, patients can now choose from a variety of nutritious, prepared fresh meals, cooked in house by a Red Seal certified chef, who is part of the hospital's Food Services department.

CGMH has launched the Freshflex initiative in partnership with Aramark, the company who oversees the hospital's dietary and environmental service areas (EVS).

"As the first medium-size hospital in Ontario to implement the Freshflex initiative we are thrilled to provide nutritious meals to patients, prepared fresh on-site, thereby further enhancing the patient experience," says Norah Holder, CGMH president and CEO. "Ultimately, if patients are eating healthy foods and getting the rest they require, this all contributes to the healing process."

Man in a white chef's coat and cap and woman in a black chef's coat stand over a table in the hospital's kitchen preparing fresh vegtables in a bowl.
CGMH’s Red Seal Chef, Chelsea Nold and Serge Kostenko, Executive Chef from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on-site to help with the launch of Freshflex prepare the first, fresh to order meals that patients will enjoy each day.

The hospital and Aramark worked collaboratively on menu enhancements that now meet more than 20 therapeutic diets, providing patients with the nourishment they require, depending on their condition.

The hospital has implemented a one week cycle menu where patients choose from a variety of selections offered each meal. The meal selection follows Canada's updated food guide, which has recommendations around increasing omega 3 fats, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats where possible.

"Over the last 12 months the team onsite have been diligently preparing for the implementation of Freshflex, with the support of Aramark Corporate. Preparations for the implementation have also included renovations and improvements to the Food Services department," says Natasha Mooney, manager, Food Services, Clinical Nutrition and EVS. Dietary employees began meeting with patients today to provide choices for the following days meals. "We will be providing exceptional customer service and aim to be a highlight in the patient's day," says Mooney.

A woman in black scrubs speaks to a woman who is sitting on a hospital bed, looking up at her.
Leony Quilao, CGMH Food Services Aide engages with the very first patient to place her food preference selection through the online ordering system.

Additionally, as part of the implementation, new computer software was launched that syncs with the patient's medical record to capture any noted dietary requests or restrictions. This ensures that only suitable selections for the patient's diet are presented, as part of the meal selection.

This project was made possible in part through community donations, in which a $350,000 campaign to support the Freshflex implementation met its goal this fall.

"We are so grateful to the donors who helped make this important investment in patient care possible. We continue to be innovative leaders in healthcare despite our undersized and aging facility. We will access technology and innovative programming whenever possible to continue to ensure patient satisfaction and quality healthcare," says Jory Pritchard-Kerr, CGMH Foundation president & CEO.

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