Covenant Care Rolls Out "Enhanced Dining" Offering Restaurant Style Experience To Residents, Patients & Families

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“Enhanced Dining” offers an expanded menu of nutritious foods and the redesign of its dining rooms to resemble homey restaurants

Karen Reed, a registered dietician, encourages using locally sourced produce, specials inspired by the National Food Calendar and monthly food bars (e.g., tacos, potatoes, and salads).

“Improving the quality of life for our residents is our number one priority and we are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Enhanced Dining,” - Chief Operating Officer Dava Ashley.

Covenant Care, a leading post acute care provider with 57 locations nationwide, has rolled out its “Enhanced Dining” service with two primary focuses: an expanded menu of nutritious foods developed with input from residents, patients and families to ensure that their preferences are taken into consideration; and the redesign of its dining rooms so that they are more homelike, attractive and comfortable.

“Improving the quality of life for our residents is our number one priority and we are thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Enhanced Dining,” said Chief Operating Officer Dava Ashley. “We know that good food and nutrition are vital to recovery and healing, and this program was designed to achieve just that. We also enjoy seeing the marvelous skills and creativity displayed by our chefs and dietary staffs. They are really the ones who, through their passion for food, are creating wonderful experiences for those we serve.”

Among them is Director of Integrated Services Karen Reed, a registered dietician, who has re-imagined the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus with the idea of engaging patients and residents in the experience. For example, she encourages using locally sourced produce, specials inspired by the National Food Calendar and monthly food bars (e.g., tacos, potatoes, and salads), leading discussions about nutrition and preparing homemade soups and fresh garden salads tableside.

“One of our key goals is offering a wide range of choices while honoring individual preferences. We regularly interact with our residents to see what they like, what they don’t, what they would like to see on the menus, exploring healthy alternatives to favorite foods, etc.,” said Reed. “Our restaurant-style breakfast cafe, for instance, allows residents the flexibility of how they want their eggs prepared --scrambled or sunny side up. Do they want bacon crisp or would sausage links be their preference? And many items, including several healthy ones, are available a la carte."

In addition to dietary considerations, the dining rooms have been revamped so that they resemble homey restaurants, and staff apparel is much like what you would see in bistros or cafes. The use of fine table linens, china, glassware, utensils and centerpieces are among some of the items contributing to an elevated dining experience.

"We view our residents as family and treat them as such,” said Reed. "Our goal is to improve their quality of life through nutritious food and fellowship."

Ashley said 16 Covenant Care facilities have rolled out the Enhanced Dining service and she expects that number of grow to nearly 30 in 2015.

Founded in 1994, Covenant Care offers post-acute care services such as short- and long-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation, residential care/assisted living, home health and AFFIRMA Rehabilitation. Through modest and focused growth, the company has grown to include more than 8,000 healthcare professionals in some 57 locations. Covenant Care serves 4,000 residents and patients in California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada and Ohio facilities.

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Jenna Satariano
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