“Sometimes, food makes a difference.”
When Chuck was in high school, he visited his grandparents in a rehabilitation center where they were staying. There, he saw hosts and hostesses bringing his grandparents their meals — and it struck a chord in him.
Inspired by those hosts and hostesses, Chuck has followed their footsteps. Working at UPMC Lititz, he brings patients their meals throughout their hospital stay.
Chuck, who says others describe him as funny and talkative, likes to get to know the patients he serves. He’ll often have conversations with them and get to know them.
“Some people start to get to know me after the first two meals,” he says. “After they see me by the fourth or fifth, they say, ‘Hello,’ and everything. Sometimes, I’ll see if their family’s coming in, and I’ll say, ‘Hi, I’m Chuck. I’m one of the hosts, I take your family their food.’
Often, patients who come back to the hospital after a previous stay still remember him, which he appreciates. He also appreciates the cards that former patients write to thank the staff members, like him, for the care they experienced.
Part of Chuck’s job is ensuring that patients’ meals follow any diet restrictions that they have. He makes sure to double-check his trays before he brings them to his patients’ rooms.
“I had a little bit of a background around diet beforehand,” he says. “And over the years, I just keep learning more and more about diets, how some of them have changed, how some of them have stayed the same, little things coming in and out.”
Chuck knows that the work he does brings positivity to people while they’re in the hospital — something he considers really important.
“It’s one of the positive parts of the days, when they get some food,” he says. “Sometimes, food makes all the difference.”
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