(HawaiiNewsNow) - Kaiser Permanente is working to improve food quality, food service and the overall patient experience by becoming the first hospital in the state to provide made-to-order room service for patients. Traditionally hospital food is made in advance in large quantities and then served up at pre-set times. Starting August 19 Moanalua Medical Center patients will enjoy made-to-order meals delivered to their room - hot and fresh.
The new program aims to improve patient satisfaction and increase nutritional intake by allowing individuals to control meal preferences and timing. Another major benefit of the program will be cost savings from eliminating wasted and uneaten food.
A brand new menu is just part of the transformation that has taken place at the Moanalua Medical Center the kitchen has been completely renovated and workers are sporting new uniforms.
Chef Steve Fontanilla brings more than 30 years of food service experience to his new role as Executive Chef of Kaiser Permanente Moanalua. He is a self-described "old-school" cook with a philosophy of treating customers like family. Every item on the menu has to be good enough to serve to his loved ones or it doesn't leave the kitchen.
Fontanilla comes to Kaiser Permanente from the US Navy. He recently retired after serving 26 years in many prestigious culinary roles, including personal chef to the Secretary of the Navy and Executive Chef of the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith. In his lengthy and illustrious military career he's served some of the country's top brass including Gen. Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
For Fontanilla recipes come from the heart. He lives to see a smile or a thumbs-up when someone tastes his food. He's rising to a new challenge of accommodating the restricted diets of some patients by working hand in hand with nutritionist. He's committed to busting the myth that hospital food has to be bland.
Making the jump into health care by joining the state's largest integrated health care organization was an easy decision for Chef Fontanilla. He feels good about providing the nutrition people need to get well and go home to their family. The uniforms may have changed but it's still his job to serve up the meals that everybody wants to eat.