Cura Hospitality Selected as Exclusive Food Service Management Provider for Allegheny Health Network

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Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is proud to announce the successful transition of dining services at all AHN healthcare facilities in Pennsylvania to Cura Hospitality, an industry leader in healthcare food service management.  Cura began a seamless transition process earlier this year, where management teams worked collaboratively to reopen multiple dining venues over the course of several months, ensuring the highest food quality, service and care to patients, staff and guests.  

“Cura was selected by our organization because of its impressive track record of providing exceptional food and nutrition services in health care settings. The Cura team understands the preferences and expectations of our patients, staff and guests – both in terms of nutrition and hospitable service, and their commitment to those values is critical to driving highest levels of comfort and satisfaction among those we care for,” said Eugene Scioscia, MD, AHN’s Chief Patient Experience Officer. 

Cura’s history with AHN began in 2013 with the network’s Jefferson Hospital, followed a year later by its Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Pa. 

Cura was selected to manage the retail and demonstration kitchen at AHN’s Wexford Health and Wellness Pavilion in late 2014 where Cura chefs and dietitians offered healthy cooking and nutrition education workshops that were open to the community.

“We’re excited to extend our service to the entire AHN network of hospitals, continually enhancing dining services, while providing an experience that exceeds the expectations of patients and guests. We are proud of this lasting partnership and are honored to contribute to the fulfillment of AHN’s mission to care for people and for our community,” said Lisa Schairer, managing director of Cura at Elior North America, Cura’s parent company.

Partnership-focused approach

Cura’s partnership-focused approach has resulted in leading patient satisfaction ratings for the AHN dining facilities under its management. Cura aligns its “Completely Satisfied Patient Experience Model” with the goals of AHN’s Operations Excellence Program which follows five pillars, including: safety, quality, patient experience, efficiency and human development. This alignment has made a significant impact on the overall quality of care for patients at Jefferson Hospital and Allegheny Valley Hospital and resulted in the highest patient satisfaction ratings, above all others in the network. 

“Through the Completely Satisfied Program, the Patient Experience team focuses 

on each patient’s specific health and dietary needs as well as their unique preferences.      

They partner with nursing staff to uplift patient spirits through quality food and personal service, while instilling feelings of community and contentment, which is vital for well-being. Keeping the patient properly nourished helps facilitate the healing process. We want to create a memorable dining experience for all patients,” saidKristen Azzarello, Vice President for Cura at AHN. 

Cura’s high patient experience performance scores also contribute to the hospital’s high-ranking Press Ganey scores, the most recognized national patient-experience measurement metric. Additionally, Cura uses the Studer Group principal for communication, AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, Thank You), which complements the AHNCARES model (Communicate, Acknowledge, Respond, Empathize, Solve). Using this type of communication tool enhances patient safety, decreases patient fears and improves the patient’s overall experience.

Cura’s care for patients and guests has been recognized by AHN’s RAVE, the “Recognized and Acknowledge Valued Employees” award. Cura’s team members were among the first non-AHN employees to receive the prestigious award that honors employees who provide exemplary care or service to a patient, a patient’s relative, friend or a fellow employee.

Health and wellness-focused food service

AHN has also selected Cura for its reputation in preparing fresh, healthy food and high-quality service. As one of the first healthcare food service providers in the U.S. to eliminate trans-fatty acids from its menus, Cura’s executive chefs strive to prepare the healthiest dining options possible. Cura teams also make substantial commitments to promoting healthier lifestyles through BeWell, a platform designed to educate and help guests make eating healthy the easy choice when they dine with Cura. 

Responding to Covid-19

As the pandemic caused a need for increased food safety, Cura supported AHN with its own Covid-19 “playbook,” a guide detailing enhanced health and safety protocols amid new safety guidance from national health authorities. Everything, from implementing enhanced hygiene, to safeguarding employees, staff, patients and guests, is covered in the guide.   

Creating a safe haven at AHN cafés has been essential to AHN health providers and staff. To help ease the strain that medical providers are under due to the pandemic, Cura teams at Jefferson and Allegheny Valley Hospitals repurposed cafeterias into pop-up grocery markets to support their nutritional needs, providing a convenient food shopping experience for them. At Jefferson Hospital, staff can easily purchase staples like milk, loaves of bread, butter, eggs, and iced tea from upright coolers, and culinary teams at Allegheny Valley Hospital made ordering pizza and other to-go, family-style meals easy for healthcare workers to 

pick up from the café on their way home.                         

This commitment to hospitality, as well as dining and nutrition excellence, helped identify Cura Hospitality as an organically strategic partner for AHN, as the healthcare leader continues its mission to provide best in class medical services to its Pennsylvania communities. 

To learn more about Cura Hospitality, visit www.curahospitality.com.     

About AHN

Allegheny Health Network (www.AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. Among the network’s 300 clinical locations are 13 hospitals and five Health + Wellness Pavilions. AHN also is home to a comprehensive research institute; home- and community-based health services; and a group purchasing organization. The network employs more than 20,000 people and has more than 2,400 doctors on its medical staff. Established in 2013, AHN’s member hospitals share legacies of charitable care that date back more than 160 years.