One thing we at Meridian Health Care pride ourselves in is being about more than just healthcare. As a family owned small business, it gives us the opportunity to be flexible and “think outside of the box” in terms of our approach to public relations and outreach. We have had great success in developing programs and coordinating events with our community partners.

Recently, Meridian Health Care partnered with the Roberti Culinary Pathway, part of the Roberti Community House non-profit based in Waukegan, Illinois. The Culinary Pathway, as part of their mission statement “gives struggling individuals who live in this Waukegan area community the skills needed to enter the foodservice workforce. The program provides hands-on culinary training by a professional chef and includes food preparation, sanitation, kitchen communication skills, and proper use of equipment.” Meridian Health Care’s Director of Business Development, Steve Rainsford, who also works with the Village of Vernon Hills on their Senior Outreach Initiative, approached the village and came up with an idea that would not only showcase the talent of the Culinary Pathway, but also benefit the members of the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization: a special catered lunch! The Culinary Pathway created a 3 course meal for the Vernon Hills seniors and delivered it to the Village of Vernon Hills Senior Center. Here is what was on the menu:



Steve and members of the Seniors Organization set up the meal trays, and prepared to begin the feast, when all of a sudden, the Assistant Village of Vernon Hills Manager, Jon Petrillo, and State Senator Adriane Johnson (the district Senator for the area that includes Waukegan and Vernon Hills) made an appearance. Mr. Petrillo introduced the Senator to the seniors and she talked briefly about important issues regarding the senior community and also veterans.



As the lunch was about to begin, Senator Johnson jumped right in to help serve and remained until everyone had a plate.



After everyone was served, photos were taken as the seniors enjoyed their lunch.


Servers (Meridian’s Steve Rainsford and Senator Johnson)


Jon Petrillo of the Village of Vernon Hills, Senator Johnson, Steve Rainsford of Meridian Health Care


Once the seniors finished the main course, it was time for dessert!



The event was well received by both the seniors and the village of Vernon Hills and was highlighted on the village’s Facebook page.



The Seniors Organization donated $7 a plate in order to further assist the Roberti Culinary Pathway and the important mission of this non-profit.


Folks at the Culinary Pathway gratefully accepting the donation from the Seniors Organization

More than “just a lunch”, this event event shows that local government, elected state officials, non-profits and a family owned healthcare organization can come together to benefit local seniors. It was fun, engaging, and the donations went to a good cause. Meridian Health Care is proud to have been a part of it and help organize this event. We would like to thank the Roberti Culinary Pathway, the Village of Vernon Hills, Senator Johnson and most of all, the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization. Well done, everyone.