FSNM PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Read how the exciting field of Food Service & Nutrition Management
unlocked unlimited potential for this FSNM professional!
Complete Purchasing Services
“I chose this career wanting to make a difference in the lives of seniors,
and it has fulfilled that promise to me for the past 20 years since I graduated.”
LinkedIn: Heidi Obstfeld-Adams
LinkedIn: Complete Purchasing Services
Heidi Obstfeld-Adams Spotlight:
I was about to graduate high school and had no idea what I wanted to do. My mother was a nurse, and I wanted to work in healthcare, but I was not going to be a good nurse! I remember thinking I love food – cooking and baking – how can I pair that with healthcare? I happened to open up the catalogue of college courses and found a Food and Nutrition Management course. It was exactly what I was looking for. I toured a few schools and ended up attending Canadore College in North Bay. I absolutely loved the course and now my career. I did a placement at a hospital in Massachusetts but after that, I have been dedicated to Senior Living. I started in long-term care as a supervisor, and over the years was promoted to manager and a few years later to a Regional Director of Operations for both Long-term Care Facilities, Retirement homes and Designated Assisted Living facilities. I worked in both Ontario and Alberta.
I now work at Complete Purchasing Services as an Account Manager for the Greater Toronto Area. This job is so rewarding and provides work-life balance. I am able to assist many clients from different areas of business, and there is never a boring day. From food services operations to purchasing suggestions and anything else you can think of, I get asked questions.
I think with a career in Food and Nutrition management, there are so many different opportunities for jobs. There are jobs in management, sales, consulting in all different areas of healthcare and outside of health care as well. I have never once questioned why I am in this career, and I thank my lucky stars that I was able to figure it out when I was in high school as it has been rewarding my entire adult life.
A little More About Heidi:
What is one question you wished you asked before starting your career (or your specific work environment/field)
Honestly, there are no questions I wish I had asked myself as I have learned so much throughout the years. Everything that has challenged me, has made me learn more. Had I asked those difficult questions – I may have chosen a different career.
What were some of the challenges you faced starting out in your career and how did you overcome them?
As a young manager, there was some resistance in the management of staff members who thought I needed more experience. I learned from early on to treat everyone fairly and with respect, and create a team environment. I continued to do this throughout my entire career and feel it has served me well.
I also feel earlier in my career, I worried too much about work and being perfect – nobody is perfect and that is unrealistic. I feel the challenges I went through, and still go through, continue to make me a stronger and more well-rounded person.
What is the most meaningful part of your career?
Feeling like I make a difference in my clients lives, and the lives of the people that they are serving. Nothing brings me greater joy than solving a problem, or helping someone out when needed.
How do you make room to continue to learn while working/leading/living?
I have really worked these last few years on continuing my education as a priority. I have taken a Supply Chain Management course to gain better knowledge of the industry I am working in now. I also took the CHA Learning Long-Term Care Administrator program to become a Long Term Care Administrator. I found that gave me a lot of insight into the Healthcare system in Canada.
I also received my Certified Nutrition Manager designation this past year. It enforces that continuing education is a huge part of career development. By making it a priority, I really just ensure I set aside time weekly to invest in myself.
As the sector evolves, what new areas are emerging/will emerge that further illustrate the unlimited potential for Food Service and Nutrition Managers?
I think as the sector evolves, nutrition will play an even bigger part in the health and wellness of everyone. I feel that food and nutrition is the basis for good health and the future will move more of us to eating healthier, and being more holistic in our every day lives. As Food Service and Nutrition Managers, we will be needed to support our population.
The Food Service and Nutrition Management in Healthcare (FSNM) program enhances students’ knowledge of and performance in areas including food service, business, human resources management, quality management, and nutrition and diet therapy. CHA Learning has been providing Food Service Management training to the health sector for more than 45 years.
FSNM is designed for (but not limited to) individuals with experience in healthcare or food services in front-line, entry level management or supervisory positions.
To learn more about our Food Service in Nutrition Management Program, click the link below to visit the program page.