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SJHH / Health Services/ Clinical Nutrition & Patient Food Services

Clinical Nutrition & Patient Food Services

What this program does…

Clinical Nutrition provides direct patient care activities including nutritional assessments, developing and monitoring of care plans and education. We support a number of inpatient and out-patient clinical programs including:

  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Kidney Function Program
  • Bariatric Surgery

Patient Food Services provides quality meals, snacks and enteral feeding to patients in a timely, safe and sanitary manner. Each day, we serve approximately 1,900 meals. Meals are based on the patient’s dietary and medical needs as prescribed by the patient’s physician or health care practitioner.

How this program helps...

While in hospital, adequate nutrition and hydration are a key part of patient recovery.  As well, nutrition education helps patients to manage many types of medical conditions including such examples as Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Dysphasia (swallowing problems) and Celiac Disease.

Your Care Team

Our department is comprised of

  • Food Service Helpers, who prepare, portion, assemble, serve and deliver meals to patients.
  • Food Service Supervisors who train and oversee staff and ensure meals and services meet department and public health standards.
  • Dietitians who are Members of The College of Dietitians of Ontario, a health profession regulated under Ontario Law. Dietitians assess the nutritional status of patients and coordinate all aspects of nutrition care in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team.
  • Dietetic Assistants, who work closely with Dietitians and Food Service staff to obtain patient food preferences, manage food allergies and develop meal plans.
  • Clerical Staff who receive requests from clinical areas for food supplies, meals, snacks and enteral feeding, in addition to ensuring diet orders are correctly processed and patients receive accurate meal trays.

Our staff strictly adheres to hand washing guidelines as set out by the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Infection Control Department.


Helen Van deMark
Director, Clinical Nutrition and Patient Food Services
905-522-1155 Ext 33115

Dietitians Office
905 -522-1155 Ext 33509

Renal Dietitians
905-522-1155 Ext 33604

Bariatric Surgery Dietitians
905-522-1155 Ext 33437

Preparing for Your Visit

Please report any food allergies or dietary restrictions prior to or at the time of your hospital admission. This will help ensure we provide the most suitable meals.

While in hospital, the Food Service Helpers will ask you your name to make sure you are receiving the correct meal tray. Please make sure your bedside table is clear so there is room for the meal tray.

After Your Visit

You may require nutrition teaching to help you manage your medical condition at home.  A Dietitian may visit you prior to your discharge or you may be referred to an out-patient or community Dietitian.

Below are links to reliable sources for nutrition and health information:

Dietitians of Canada

Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating

Canadian Diabetes Association

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Osteoporosis Canada

Additional References

Diabetes – Healthy Eating

Kidney Disease and Your Diet

Importance of Eating More Fibre

Gestational Diabetes - Nutrition

Salt - Tips for Eating Less Salt