AHF will work towards its mission of advancing healthcare foodservice professionals by assuring food and nutrition is a core competency, with a vision for self-operated healthcare foodservice operations to be recognized as industry best practice. “ASHFSA and HFM were built upon a shared vision,” said HFM president Bruce Thomas, associate vice president-guest services, Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania. “The boards of directors from both groups unanimously agreed that a consolidation into one single, strong association will best serve the needs of today’s healthcare foodservice leaders, prepare the next generation, and ensure long-term growth and viability for our industry.”
“With the combined talents, tools and resources of ASHFSA and HFM, the capacity of this new organization will be far superior to the individual parts of each respective group,” added ASHFSA president Deanne Carlisle, chief, nutrition and food services, Portland VA Medical Center, in Portland, Oregon. “Members will have access to the industry’s absolute best tools, experts and resources, further reinforcing the position of self-op healthcare foodservice as the industry’s best practice. The creation of AHF from these two separate organizations will strengthen the professionalism of healthcare foodservice operators and business partners in these economic times.”
AHF, which will comprise a membership of leading healthcare foodservice operators and business partners across North America, will be led by a unified national board of directors, industry advisory board, past presidents’ council and working committees. Operator membership in AHF will be restricted to members of self-operated healthcare foodservice facilities, and will also include but not be limited to, students, educators, administrators, business partners, chefs and consultants. Existing members of ASHFSA and HFM who meet the membership eligibility guidelines will automatically roll into AHF membership as of August 1, 2009, with an annual dues cycle currently being finalized by the membership and finance committees. Regional chapters, which will require the same membership criteria as the national organization, will provide members with meetings, resources and networking events.
An interim board of directors, consisting of equal representation from both the ASHFSA and HFM boards of directors, plus members of the ASHFSA-HFM Consolidation Task Force, has been formed to lead the new association through its inaugural year. HFM president-elect Kris Schroeder, administrative director of support services at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, has been appointed president of AHF. ASHFSA president-elect Denisa Cate, director of food and nutrition services at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, has been appointed president-elect. Marty Rothschild, vice president, sales and marketing, Aladdin Temp-Rite, will serve as chair of the Industry Advisory Board.