Patti Oliver, director of nutrition, and Gabriel Gomez, executive chef, at UCLA Health
Patti Oliver, director of nutrition services at UCLA Health, has received the 2017 Silver Plate Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association for her work at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Her award recognizes excellence in food service operations in the health care industry.
Oliver and her team of more than 300 employees are responsible for serving nearly 10,000 meals every day to patients, visitors and staff at UCLA's medical centers. During an 18-year career at UCLA Health, she has implemented numerous initiatives to improve nutritional quality and access.
"I'm thrilled and honored to be joining a group of people whom I respect and admire as a Silver Plate recipient," said Oliver. "The work our team does here at UCLA Health to provide tasty, healthy and sustainable food has a big impact on our patients, staff and community."
Oliver has spearheaded many changes: She eliminated fried foods from the menu at the medical centers. Locally grown or organic produce now makes up 65% of the produce purchased, and 20% of the food purchased is now sustainable. Approximately 75% of beef and poultry purchased have been raised without antibiotics. Oliver not only implemented Meatless Mondays, but she created Signature Dining, a high-end, hotel-style meal service, featuring a selection of more than 45 different entrees, served at patients' bedside.
"For some patients, the brightest spot of their day is their meal,’’ Oliver said. “A lot of times, it's the only thing they can choose. By offering a diversity of healthy foods with our Signature Dining option, we really feel we make a difference in the lives of our patients."
Patient dining makes up about a third of the total meals served at the medical centers. Oliver's work impacts not only patients at the the two medical centers, with a total of approximately 800 beds, but staff, families and other visitors as well.
Oliver will be honored at the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association's 63rd annual Gold and Silver Plate Awards Celebration on Saturday, May 20. at Revel Fulton Market in Chicago, Illinois.