Food for Thought
From burrito bar to salad bar, Culinary Manager Nancy Larson wants to make sure patients and employees have delicious food options that are also nutritious.
Since age 16 she’s been designing menus and culinary creations in a medical setting, first at Riverview Hospital in Minnesota, then MeritCare and Sanford. Her passion for the plate started as a dietetic technician student, and since then Nancy has flourished her career to the fullest.
“What I love most about my job is that we're able to satisfy our customers, our patients in particular. We have a room service program for our patients that allow them to order food based from a menu allowed by the patient’s diet, allowing them to choose food items that are applicable. Making sure that they're satisfied nutritionally as well as enjoying a product that is eye appealing, tasty and of good quality,” Nancy says.
Nancy stays on top of global trends in food and nutrition. She looks to other cultures specifically to see what kinds products are available that she can incorporate in the menus at the hospital.
“I like looking at what’s going on around the globe with food and seeing how I can make it something our patients would like to have, developing items that they are familiar with and prepare at home,” she says.
A welcoming place
Food is naturally a way for friends and family to come together and enjoy one another’s company. Nancy keeps this in mind when working with her colleagues and taking care of the patients she serves. It’s a work style her Sanford team fully embraces.
“I find most rewarding in my job the family feeling that I have when I come in to my food services department. My team works really well together. They work like a family,” she says. “They're here because they understand that the patient is part of our family, and we want them to feel welcome and at home when they're here, and we want to do what we can to meet their needs.”
Cooking for causes
Nancy stays involved in many of the causes Sanford supports throughout the year, especially events tied to the Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Children’s Miracle Network. She says its part of what makes Sanford not just a place to work, but a second family as well.
“I think we build really strong ties with the community every time Sanford openly supports causes like the Children’s Miracle Network,” Nancy says. “It’s really great to be a part of that.”
Like thousands of other Sanford employees, Sanford supports Nancy’s continuing education.
“Our retail area is very similar to what a college and university retail would be about, and I have had a number of opportunities to attend different learning institutes that are provided by NACUFS, that allow me to hone my skills in regards to human resources, purchasing, design, implementation of design,” she says. “These are some different things that I wouldn't have ever had an opportunity to learn about if I wasn't with the Sanford family.”
Nancy has also enjoyed travel opportunities provided to her by the support of Sanford. But she likes to stay close to home, where she gets her job done well with the support and enthusiasm of her family at work.
“Sanford is a great place to work, and if you have an opportunity for employment with Sanford, I highly recommend that you take that opportunity and come join our family,” says Nancy.
Posted Date: August 2013