LMC Nutrition Services Director Earns Award for Innovative High School Program

Steve Howell accepts "Spotlight Award" from AHF board member Danise Cate in Miami, Florida

Steve Howell, Lexington Medical Center Director of Nutrition Services, has received a national “Spotlight Award” from the Association for Healthcare Food Service for an innovate program that employs high school students at the hospital. Mr. Howell received accolades this summer for the program’s valuable workforce training and positive community impact.

In 2011, Mr. Howell came up with an idea for Lexington Medical Center to hire Midlands high school students to deliver trays of food to patients in the hospital. The goal was to introduce the students to the work force, allow them to experience working for a good employer and develop a positive work ethic.

The high school program was an immediate success, receiving 50 applicants in one week. The students work four hour shifts during school-friendly times. Approximately 40 are currently employed. The students have received praise for the quality of their work.

“People underestimate what kids can do,” said Steve Howell, director of Nutrition Services at Lexington Medical Center, who created the program. “We truly give back to the community and what a better way than with our upcoming workforce. It doesn’t get better than that.”

The students undergo a mini-orientation with Human Resources before beginning work. Older employees have taken the students under their wing, allowing the high schoolers to interact with an established work force while earning a good wage.

Steve Howell traveled to Miami, Florida in June to make a presentation about the program and accept the Spotlight Award.
Students who are interested in applying for the program should contact Lexington Medical Center Human Resources at 803-791-2131.

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