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Washington County Health System
  Comfort Food, New and Improved

Robinwood Construction Update Newsletter


A blueprint of Washington County Hospital’s new kitchen and cafeteria hangs on the wall of the existing kitchen. The Nutrition Services employees tend not to look at it. They’re busy preparing and serving roughly 3,000 daily meals to hospital patients, visitors, employees, and catered events. “They know the move will be a huge change, but they are focused on the here and now,” said Judy Fogelsonger, director of support services.

The here and now means not only preparing huge amounts of food, but doing so with a long list of requests and restrictions. Their meals have to be reasonably priced, delicious for all their customers, and both nutritious and tasty for patients. And the menus must include variety in order to keep customers interested.

With so many constraints, it wouldn’t be surprising for chefs or other nutrition staff to fall into a rut. But the Nutrition Services staff is committed to avoiding that trap, and the new hospital’s kitchen and cafeteria offer a great opportunity to improve the dining experience.

Although the name will remain the Robin’s Cove, the new cafeteria will look nothing like the old space. A curved wall of windows will provide natural light and offer access to outdoor dining. The lobby above will look down on the cafeteria space and give it an open feel. The long school-like rows of tables and orange retro chairs occupying the existing cafeteria will no longer exist. Tables of two, four, and even booths, will allow visitors and employees to enjoy an intimate meal. And the new cafeteria will seat sixty more people than the existing cafeteria.

Not only will the ambiance be enhanced, but so will the menu. One of the more exciting changes in the new cafeteria will be the display cooking area, where customers get to watch a chef prepare fresh pasta, stir-fry, or even slice tenderloin. Pizza and French fry day will be every day thanks to a new rotary oven and fryer. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy hand-dipped ice cream, specialty drinks, and other desserts served at the ice cream soda fountain.

A large food island featuring made-to-order food such as deli-style sandwiches will be featured. Alongside it, our signature salad bar will be enlarged, offering ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, crisp lettuce, and other fresh toppings. For coffee lovers, an accessible and contemporary coffee bar will be located in the lobby. In addition to the standard cup of joe, the coffee bar will serve specialty drinks, bottled beverages, and pastries and muffins.

Main entrance and dining room curtainwall

Although the changes are exciting, moving to the new hospital will be an adjustment for the ninety-plus Nutrition Services employees. “From learning new kitchen traffic patterns to remembering where the spatulas are located, it will be a challenge,” said Fogelsonger. Another change will be operating and staffing the cafeteria twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week—including holidays. Currently, meals at the cafeteria are limited to the hours of 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.

During the lunch rush hour, some 1,500 visitors and staff count on Nutrition Services to provide them with a meal. Fogelsonger anticipates that number will jump when people see the new amenity-rich cafeteria. “The cafeteria touches everyone at the hospital,” explained Fogelsonger. “After all, everyone has to eat.”


© 2010
Washington County Health System
251 East Antietam Street
Hagerstown, MD 21740

TDD: 1-800-735-2258
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