Updated

Regional Health announced today a partnership with Compass One Healthcare, a nationwide provider of hospital culinary and support services, to serve Rapid City Regional Hospital’s dining, intra-hospital transportation, environmental services and laundry needs of patients and families.

“This partnership reflects our focus on enhancing the patient and family experience. Compass One serves hospitals all over the United States, and it has the experience and resources to bring a true hospitality focus,” said Wes Paxton, vice president of Facilities Management at Regional Health, in a release. “With Compass One serving the hospitality needs of our patients, families and caregivers, Regional Health can focus on the medical needs of our patients."

When the Compass One transition occurs Feb. 1, all of the 210 Regional Health caregivers in dining, intra-hospital transportation, environmental services and laundry will be offered positions with Compass One.

Pay and benefits will be comparable to those offered by Regional Health, and Compass One will recognize their original hire dates for the purpose of paid time off and other benefits.

Compass One is the result of a January 2014 merger between Crothall Heathcare and Morrison Food Service. The company is based in Wayne, Penn., and serves more than 1,600 hospitals and health system locations in 48 states, with 46,000 employees.

Regional Health joins a growing list of institutions that have partnered with specialized firms to provide services beyond the central scope of their primary missions.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and Black Hills State University contract with outside firms for dining and other services.

For decades, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore National Memorial have worked with private-sector partners to provide lodging, dining, recreation and retail services.

For caregivers, providers and the public, the transition will be seamless, the release stated.

The most visible change will be in the hospital cafeteria and food service, which will see a redesign of the first-floor dining area into a bistro-style eatery.

There will also be changes in room service for visiting family members and broader menu choices for patients and restaurant patrons, the release said. The restaurant serving and dining are redesign will feature lots of light, natural stone, wood trim and green plants.

The plan also calls for a pergola-like outdoor dining area and a nearby fire pit.

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