Cheryl Cooke is Manager of Central Okanagan Food Services for Interior Health, for the areas of Kelowna, British Columbia. She has over 25 years of working in food services for both acute and residential care. Cheryl graduated from Langara’s Nutrition Management Program in 1992 and was a Supervisor/Diet Tech in Vancouver, British Columbia until 1998. She then moved to Kelowna, British Columbia and was Owner/Operator of The Pantry Restaurant for five years then began working as Manager in her current role. In 2014 Cheryl and her team were able to implement a just in time service to the Emergency department at Kelowna General Hospital offering flex eating times and more options right at the bedside. Her goal over the next few years is to be able to provide this service to all the wards at KGH. Cheryl is excited about healthy eating choices for both staff and patients and was able to promote a Hearth Healthy menu in the cafeteria in 2015 when the Interior Heart and Surgical Center opened.
Interior Health (IH)
Interior Health (IH) is a publicly funded health authority in the interior of British Columbia, whose mission is to “promote healthy lifestyles and provide needed health services in a timely, caring, and efficient manner, to the highest professional and quality standards.” IH consists of 4 regional hospitals, 2 tertiary hospitals, 16 community hospitals and 6,578 residential and assisted living beds, serving a population of 743,000. IH Food Services provides five million meals each year, across 55 facilities, utilizing conventional and cook-chill retherm systems. IH owns and operates a regional production facility that produces products such as vegetarian and texture modified entrees, utilizing a cook-freeze system; a Dinners at Home meal program, offering convenient nutritionally-balanced frozen entrées for public purchase, and a community-based Meals on Wheels program in collaboration with non-profit organizations.
The Health Authority has been working steadily with suppliers to take advantage of the great food that is grown, produced and processed right in B.C. We are continuing to expand on this by providing resource information for facilities to purchase locally by partnering with manufacturers, suppliers and distributors and providing farmers with information on how to distribute their product as a safe sustainable product. Our vision is to create a web-based map information system for all approved local food providers in B.C. to take pride and showcase their local food product.