As director of Nutrition Services for Trinity Health in Minot, Deedra Hoffart is responsible for the goals, vision, and direction of the department. Trinity's Nutrition Services. The service, which encompasses patient, customer, and employee meals for Trinity Health, has grown in the past few years, selling even more retail meals than before.
"System-wide, we serve 1,600 to 1,700 meals a day. Over the last two years, we've done a pretty major transformation in our retail business. We see between 700 to 900 customers daily at Trinity Hospital's campus alone," Hoffart said.
Hoffart attributes the success to good support from Trinity's administration and from Nutrition Services staff.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN •
Deedra Hoffart, director of Nutrition Services for Trinity Health, stands by the menu for Trinity Hospital’s cafeteria.
"If you've got the right people, you can accomplish what you need to do. I want to see this department be successful, for the sense of pride staff feel when they get good patient reviews," Hoffart said.
Hoffart explained that one of her main goals for the department has continued to be food quality.
"I'm passionate about the food that patients get. I want them to walk out of here thinking, 'I couldn't believe that was hospital food.' I want to change their perception of hospital food, that it's not what it used to be," Hoffart said.
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In past years, Hoffart explained, patients were placed on strict diets and offered food that didn't look appetizing or appealing. Nutrition Services has now taken a more culinary approach to food, even making some items from scratch.
"The approach now is for health and healing, rather than the patient being on a restrictive diet that they probably aren't going to eat. We just want them to eat," Hoffart said.
Hoffart has held a long standing interest in nutrition services. She began work as a clinical dietitian 10 years ago in San Diego. A few years into her career, she took up a management position.
"I never thought I would work in management, but I always seem to find myself getting back into it, because it's something I enjoy along with the clinical side of nutrition," Hoffart said.
Hoffart began working for Trinity Health in 2006 as a dietitian, and soon after became the director of nutrition services. Her job includes being responsible for the fiscal operations of the department, capital and equipment requests, and determining policies and procedures.
She has continued to strive for good communication lines between staff and management in the department .
"We have some rituals within this department that have helped create the culture that we have with employees and managers," Hoffart said.
One such way the communication lines stay open is through daily 'huddles' with management and staff, that serve as a time to reconnect and refocus.
"We celebrate praise and recognition, and discuss any issues we need to nip in the bud right away. I believe in regular communication, not just one meeting a month with a big laundry list of things to go over," she added.
Her greatest enjoyment has come from seeing employees reach their goals.
"One of the greatest enjoyments I have is the opportunity to form relationships with my staff. I have seen people undergo a complete transformation in who they are as employees, from shy to confident, and proud of their work. For me, that's the really rewarding part," Hoffart said.
Hoffart has continued to set standards that help staff reach for the department's goals.
"With every month, every quarter, and every year that pass, the bar is always raised, and my expectations are higher. As I continue to grow as a leader to this department, the bar is always being raised," Hoffart said.