For some of us, a simple trip to the grocery store is a chore better left to someone with more patience, organization and planning skills. Do we need a bag of onions? White or yellow? Are spaghetti squash in season? Do we already have ground marjoram, or do I need to pay $10 for a thimble-sized container?
Now, imagine buying the groceries for an organization of 7,000 employees and hundreds of patients with special dietary considerations.
Our food buyer at NHRMC, Brian Gore, must consider transportation, shelf life, storage space, remaining inventory, refrigeration capacity, anticipated patient census, variety, and of course, cost.
It’s a demanding job that requires a varied set of skills, and Brian’s skills far exceed the technical proficiencies of the job.
He earns praise for being a great teammate. He will help out wherever he is needed.
Recently, the production staff experienced a difficult situation in which they were unexpectedly without a leader. Brian immediately stepped into the role as interim production manager to prevent a gap in leadership. He was able to quickly and significantly improve the work environment and improve engagement of the production team. During this interim role, he helped launch a new patient menu and redesigned the room service cooking procedures and storage system to help the team function more efficiently.
Additionally, Brian has supported the NHRMC Employee Farmers Market since its inception by coordinating the space to safely store their produce to maintain quality, ordering supplies and working with the Wellness Dietitians to get the proper ingredients for their onsite cooking demos.
When he was promoted to food buyer, he was asked to reduce purchasing costs. He far exceeded his goal and also reduced inventory. During this time, he learned more about nutrient density, quality and safety of products and didn’t compromise that while cutting cost.
Brian and his team have also taken on the responsibility of building the Food Boxes that are given to malnourished food insecure patients at discharge. He enthusiastically rallied his team around this project and the impact of its mission on some of our most vulnerable patients.
But we still haven’t touched on his most impressive work.
When Hurricane Florence hit the region last year, flooding all roads into Wilmington and leaving 1,000 employees and 500 patients sheltered in our hospital with nowhere to go, this young man had to feed them.
He was charged with the very complex task of ordering and receiving all the disaster food supply to support the entire storm team, patients and onsite visitors for up to 14 days.
And he owned it.
He mapped all the existing storage spaces and created new storage areas in order to make space for the large disaster order, which consisted of more than $200,000 of food, emergency water and supplies. He also coordinated the use of two large refrigerated trucks. Throughout the entire event, he managed his team seamlessly and worked tirelessly to keep all the storage locations and products organized so the throughput of supplies could flow smoothly and not interrupt production.
Food and Nutrition Services was recognized as a shining star throughout Hurricane Florence, and Brian was a huge part of that.
For all these reasons …Brian Gore, Food Buyer for Food and Nutrition Services, has earned the distinction of NHRMC Employee of Excellence!
2019 Employees of Excellence
January: Gray Boone
February: Mary Hamrick
March: Sherrie Elixson
April: Crystal Eason
May: Joan Hancock
June: Ellen James
July: Astrid Keusseyan
August: Nikkie Maddox
September: Alison Greco
October: Brian Gore