Hospitality & Healthcare: Creating Connections for the Future

As we look ahead into 2021 and beyond, one thing has become abundantly clear in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic: operators will have to do more with less. Join Anthony Baffo, Director of Food and Nutritional Services at Catholic Health, and Joseph Ninneman, Regional Director of System Food & Nutrition System for Advocate Aurora Health, as they outline their lessons learned and their plan moving forward to achieve more with limited resources while keeping patient satisfaction scores high.

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Understand the importance of building relationships with universities to develop and attract future leadership talent.
  2. Understand how to build relationships with university hospitality and/or dietetics programs.
  3. Describe elements of a model healthcare foodservice internship.
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  • Duration:  1 hour 
  • Accreditation: 1.0 CEU - AND (through 5/31/2023) ANFP (through 12/31/2024)
  • Type: Monthly Webinar
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Course Activities


Karen Byrd
Purdue University 
Dr. Karen Byrd is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an Assistant Professor in the White Lodging- J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University, where she received a Ph.D. in Hospitality & Tourism Management in May 2017. Dr. Byrd also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Xavier University and a Bachelor of Arts in Dietetics from Ball State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Cincinnati Hospital.

At Purdue, Karen conducts research related to consumer health and well-being issues related to food consumed in restaurants and on-site foodservices (i.e., healthcare, senior living, schools, etc.). She focuses on nutrition and food safety related to consumer behavior, menu planning, and food preparation. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in foodservice procurement, food safety, foodservice research, and management of senior living communities. She is also the faculty advisor for the student organization Association of Healthcare Foodservice Purdue – the first and only collegiate chapter.

Before her academic appointments, Karen was the Senior Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Kindred Healthcare, a national, multi-facility hospital and skilled nursing center organization. In this role, she was responsible for strategic planning and oversight of the foodservice and medical nutrition therapy for 200+ facilities; menu development and nutritional analysis; and contract negotiation and execution for a $45+ million foodservice supply budget.
SeAyra Dupree
Franciscan Health Foundation
SeAyra Dupree started her career in foodservice as a waitress at a local restaurant while attending Purdue University. After six months, she quickly got promoted to manager. For the next three years, she worked full-time as a manager and studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at Purdue. She participated in an internship through IU Health which helped launch her career in healthcare foodservice. After graduating, she was hired by Franciscan Health (IN) as a Patient Line Supervisor and was promoted to Cafeteria Supervisor a year later. For three years, she coordinated three foodservice operations for Franciscan in the greater Lafayette, Indiana, area. She recently took a position in the Franciscan Health Foundation. In her current role at the Foundation, she helps manage campaigns, donor events, and develops marketing material. 
Randy Sparrow
ProHealth Care, Inc. 
Randy Sparrow, CDM, CFPP, is currently the Director for Food and Environmental Service at ProHealth Care, Inc. Randy’s healthcare experience dates back to 1981, has ranged from small stand-alone to system-wide facilities which has taken him to a number of facilities throughout the Midwest. He is currently located in Waukesha (WI) where he is responsible for the operations at both Waukesha Memorial & Oconomowoc Memorial Hospitals, Angel’s Grace Hospice, Corporate Office and 17 clinics. Prior to ProHealth Care, Randy worked 10 years at Indiana University Health – Bloomington Hospital overseeing the hospital Food & Nutrition Services, Environmental Services and Grounds. Randy began his career in foodservice back in 1973 while in high school by managing the local FFA concession stand that sold at local town festivals and county fairs.  Randy is an active member of both ANFP and AHF. Randy is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management and returns to campus to speak with hospitality students regarding careers in the healthcare filed.