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Lexington Medical Center Nutrition Services Director Earns National Award for High School Initiative
Posted by: Jennifer Wilson, Public Relations Manager | July 11, 2012
West Columbia, S.C. – Steve Howell, Lexington Medical Center Director of Nutrition Services, has received a national “Spotlight Award” from the Association for Healthcare Food Service for an innovate program that employs high school students at the hospital. Mr. Howell received accolades this summer for the program’s valuable workforce training and positive community impact.
In 2011, Mr. Howell came up with an idea for Lexington Medical Center to hire Midlands high school students to deliver trays of food to patients in the hospital. The goal was to introduce the students to the work force, allow them to experience working for a good employer and develop a positive work ethic.
The high school program was an immediate success, receiving 50 applicants in one week. The students work four hour shifts during school-friendly times. Approximately 40 are currently employed. The students have received praise for the quality of their work.
“People underestimate what kids can do,” said Steve Howell, director of Nutrition Services at Lexington Medical Center, who created the program. “We truly give back to the community and what a better way than with our upcoming workforce. It doesn’t get better than that.”
The students undergo a mini-orientation with Human Resources before beginning work. Older employees have taken the students under their wing, allowing the high schoolers to interact with an established work force while earning a good wage.
Steve Howell traveled to Miami, Florida in June to make a presentation about the program and accept the Spotlight Award. (Photo included. Photo caption: LMC Director of Nutrition Services Steve Howell with Danise Cate, Association for Heathcare Food Service past president and board member )
The Association for Healthcare Food Service is a national professional society that works with members of the healthcare foodservice industry to enhance practices and advance programs. The group provides education, networking, recognition and programs to help members decrease costs, increase satisfaction and deliver excellence. The association’s Spotlight Award honors organizations that enhance operations through technology, program development, implementation, innovation and creative use of financial management.
Students who are interested in applying for the program should contact Lexington Medical Center Human Resources at 803-791-2131.
Lexington Medical Center, in West Columbia, S.C., anchors a county-wide health care network that includes six community medical centers throughout Lexington County and employs a staff of 5,900 health care professionals. The network also includes comprehensive cardiovascular care, an occupational health center, the largest nursing home in the Carolinas and more than 60 physician practices. At its heart is the 414-bed state-of-the-art Lexington Medical Center, with a reputation for the highest quality care. Lexington Medical Center won “Best Hospital” by readers of The State for ten years in a row, “Best Hospital” by readers of the Free Times, "Best Place to Have a Baby" by readers of Palmetto Parent, the "Consumer Choice Award" from the National Research Corporation and the prestigious “Summit Award” from Press Ganey for outstanding patient satisfaction.