East Texas hospital reinvents hospital food

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Debra Haverland drove all the way from Longview to Lufkin to see a doctor at Memorial Health System of East Texas.  She made the drive because she really likes her doctor and loves the food.

"The food is not like hospital food and you get exactly what you want, no surprises," Haverland said.

James Reichstadt is the executive chef at Memorial Hospital he said, "Too often there's a myth about hospital food, that it isn't normal food."

The Chef treats the job like he is working at a fine restaurant, providing a menu and a choice for each and every patient.

"In the end it's worth it, because you're giving people healthier choices and this is probably the closest to scratch cooking you're ever going to find," Reichstadt said.

Haverland is one satisfied customer.  The bedside service makes her feel, "Like I'm the only one just about.  They make me feel like I am most important."

To her waitress, she is the top priority.

"I don't mind helping anyone that needs help, so when people are in the hospital it's got to be because they need help and it's good for us to do what we can to try to help them," said Barbara Madison, a food service worker at Memorial.

The program provides a little bit of tasty loving care.

The hospital said personal diets are taken into consideration, but the Personal Choice Dining is available to all of their patients.