Meal time improves at Mercy, Uihlein

SARANAC LAKE - Meal time will soon be a more special time at AMC-Mercy in Tupper Lake and AMC-Uihlein in Lake Placid.

To achieve the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for the residents of long-term care, Adirondack Medical Center has been awarded a total of $87,570 in grant funds from the New York State Department of Health to establish Family Style Dining at its two skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities.

The recently awarded grant is part of the state-wide Long Term Care Quality Improvement Initiative to support projects that demonstrate sustainable improvements for the benefit of nursing home residents.

Pursuit of the Quality Improvement Initiative grant was in direct response to the residents' strong desire for change in nutritional services at AMC-Mercy and AMC-Uihlein. The Directors of Nutritional Services at both facilities, along with the staff Dietitian, decided the best course of action would be to abandon tray service food delivery in favor of a family style dining atmosphere.

"I look forward to getting this program under way," said Paul Giacovelli, director of Nutritional Services at AMC-Mercy. "It is my sincere hope that it will not only improve the current dining experience for our residents, but also bring a little more happiness to their lives. A fresher, higher quality approach is our main goal."

Both Paul and Derek Tobrocke, director of Nutritional Services at AMC-Uihlein, are graduates of the Culinary Arts and Service Management program at Paul Smith's College and both are ServSafe Certified. ServSafe is a nationally recognized program, and is the most widely accepted food safety program among local, state and federal health departments.

Sabine Weber, dietitian for both AMC-Mercy and AMC-Uihlein, has worked in the health care field for 18 years and has five years of experience as a dietitian in Long Term Care facilities. Weber is working closely with Derek and Paul to establish the family style dining program. She possesses a Master of Science in Nutrition, Bachelor's of Science in Dietetics, and is a registered Dietitian.

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