HFM and Penn State Partner to Offer Customized Education to Healthcare Foodservice Operators

December 5, 2006

The National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management (HFM) has entered into a three-year partnership with the Penn State School of Hospitality Management to offer healthcare foodservice operators access to the most cutting-edge education in the industry.

Over the next several months, the organizations will work together to conduct an environmental scan of the healthcare and foodservice industry, identifying the most topical issues and critical matters facing operators and administrators today. Based on the study’s findings, Penn State will work with HFM to develop an education strategic plan identifying a series of Webinars and Learning Symposiums for the association’s members.

“This is a very exciting time for us at HFM,” said Linda Lafferty, HFM board president and associate director of food and nutrition services at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the top academic research institutions in the country to offer our members continuing education in hospitality management and leadership training in the future. Our members will have a tremendous educational resource available to them,” Lafferty added.

By aligning itself with the Hospitality Leadership Institute at Penn State as well as the University’s Management Development Programs and Services, HFM will offer operators the chance to maximize their career development by further enriching their education in an academic setting.

Martha Conklin, PhD, RD, LDN, the associate professor at the School of Hospitality Management at Penn State who will serve as the HFM/PSU liaison, said she was excited about the partnership and looked forward to working with HFM members.

“The types of professional development activities Penn State’s Hospitality Leadership Institute can bring to HFM members are numerous,” Conklin said. “The HFM Learning Symposium at Penn State University is a wonderful opportunity for current and future leaders to be groomed for strategic positions in the healthcare foodservice profession.”

Live interactive Web-based seminars, called Webinars, will target the latest in operational efficiencies, customer satisfaction strategies, best practices for contingency planning, and more.

HFM will also host two and three-day Learning Symposiums filled with educational programs, guest speakers and resources on the latest industry trends for HFM members.

Penn State faculty will also help in recommending educational topics for four interactive teleconferences, networking meetings, support operational tool advancement and identify speakers for HFM’s annual conferences.

The educational programming will be driven by a diverse group of faculty leaders with more than ten years of industry experience from the Penn State School of Hospitality Management.

HFM is dedicated to providing the most cutting-edge education to operators available today. In response to this need, the organization’s Education Team issued an RFP in 2006 to partner with a higher education institution in delivering such educational programming to members. Penn State was awarded the contract.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.