Dan Henroid directs Nutrition and Food Services for UCSF Medical Center, which has more than 265 employees and provides more than 3 million meals annually. He also serves as the sustainability officer for the medical center and is a member of the Medical Center IT Business Subcommittee, the UCSF Wellness Work Group, and two chancellor’s advisory committees on sustainability and diversity.
What do you do at UCSF, and how is it connected to UCSF’s overall mission?
The link between nutrition and overall health is pretty clear. Unfortunately, we are faced with a substantial obesity crisis in this country. The UCSF Medical Center Department of Nutrition and Food Services is in a position to help educate all of our customers about the quality and quantity of the food we serve, which is part of the University mission. Almost everyone has an opinion about the food and service we provide to patients, our retail customers in the Moffitt Cafe and other outlets, and through Moffitt Catering. I believe we are a unique department that has the potential to personally and directly improve the day of anyone who walks into the medical center.
What’s something that members of the UCSF community would be surprised to know about you?
I played trumpet through high school and college. Though I don’t play now, I’m a huge fan of the great trumpeters – including Wynton Marsalis, Al Hirt, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, among others – because I know how much work and dedication it takes to play well. You can’t just pick up a trumpet or any other brass musical instrument and play well. You have to practice quite a bit to build up your facial muscles.
What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?
The scope of the department is pretty significant, though people often just think about the food part of the department. The Department of Nutrition and Food Services is responsible for patient food service at both hospitals (soon to be three in 2014 with the opening of the medical center at Mission Bay), five retail outlets at Parnassus and Mount Zion, and Moffitt Catering. The department is also responsible for all inpatient and outpatient nutrition services, including medical nutrition therapy counseling for special diets, weight loss and enteral-parenteral nutrition recommendations, among other nutrition services. We have more than 35 registered dietitians performing these services in the hospitals and in more than 30 of the 105 outpatient clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
If you weren’t the director of Nutrition and Food Services, what do you think you’d be?
I would probably do something in the food business like a food buyer. I love the unique role of food in keeping a person well, along with all of the other complexities that go into how people make food choices.