After working a long day at Medical City McKinney, the last thing Diana Dughi of Prosper wants to do is to walk into a crowded grocery store.

Id have to put on another mask (after wearing one most of the day) to minimize exposure,she says. My medical colleagues work hard and they just want to go home and be with their families.

The registered dietitian, who leaves Medical City McKinney each night to go home to her husband and two daughters, knows the importance of health and nutrition for herself, her co-workers and loved ones, especially during COVID-19.

Thats why she helped implement and oversee a mini grocery storeat the McKinney hospital. The onsite grocery services are available at seven area Medical City Healthcare facilities to support doctors, nurses, medical assistants, lab technicians and other staff during this pandemic.

Having this convenient service for them right where they work saves them time,says Dughi, director of food and nutrition at Medical City McKinney. It also helps keep them healthy.

The mini grocery stores are available to all Medical City hospital workers and provide select, essential grocery items such as fresh produce, bread, eggs and dairy products at cost.

With the goal of safely and conveniently reducing extra trips to the grocery store to find basic items, Medical City Dallas, Medical City Denton, Medical City Frisco, Medical City Lewisville, Medical City McKinney, Medical City North Hills and Medical City Plano are each offering a mini market or grocery kits with a variety of options.

Caring for and protecting our caregivers is an essential part of our emergency response in any situation and Im proud of our resourceful team for finding innovative ways to support each other,says Jenifer Tertel, Medical City Healthcare regional vice president of human resources.

Colleagues may have the opportunity to buy items a-la-cart or in combination boxes that can be ordered and picked up at the end of their shift.

Having this market in our hospital has meant the most to me because it really shows how much this company cares for me in a way that makes me feel loved,says Holli Thornhill, RN, Medical City Lewisville. And in a way, then I can translate that into love for my family.

Vitamin-enriched foods, like mangoes, oranges, pineapples, carrots, lettuce and broccoli and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C are important, especially for those who work around the sick, Dughi says. She has even picked up a fruit box for herself and brought another one home to bring to a co-worker.

What we put into our bodies is important,she says. We want to do everything we can to boost our immune system especially during this time to fight off illness and stay healthy for ourselves and for others.

The staff providing the grocery services, mostly in the hospitalscafeterias, are screened and follow strict handling guidelines, she says. 

Judging from the many positive emails Dughi has received from the staff at Medical City McKinney, the service has been well received.

Weve gotten very good feedback about the availability of groceries and weve listened to our employees,Dughi says.

The service is being expanded to include take-and-eat meals.

Another thing thats hard to do after a long day is to cook,she says.

Grocery services are just one of numerous benefits Medical City Healthcare has provided to its healthcare heroes during COVID-19 including hotel accommodations, pandemic pay and childcare options. Click here for more information.

Annette Nevins

Annette Bernhard Nevins is a Plano-based award-winning journalist who specializes in breaking news and features. She has held staff positions at several Texas newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News,...