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Christiann Meyer, Traypasser

Christiann Meyer, TraypasserChristiann Meyer, Traypasser

Every workday for the past 20 years, Christiann Meyer has arrived at Community Hospital by 7:30 a.m., dressed in a crisp tuxedo shirt, ready to begin her work as a “traypasser.”

Traypasser is hospital verbiage, a word that describes the people who deliver food to patients. Meyer covers more than 10 miles in an average day, and she loves both the physical nature of her job and working with the cooks and dietitians to understand menus and dietary restrictions. Most of all, she enjoys interacting with patients.

“I’m a people person, not a desk person,” she says. “I go home at the end of the day feeling like I did something worthwhile by bringing patients nutritious food. And I consider that an important part of health and well-being.”

Meyer’s day begins by delivering the early breakfast trays to patients who need to go for tests or to the hospital’s rehabilitation gym. Regular breakfast delivery follows and takes more than an hour. once the last tray is delivered, Meyer retraces her steps to collect each empty tray in time to begin snack delivery. She also picks up lunch-selection forms, on which patients have specified preferences or restrictions.

Following her own half-hour lunch break, Meyer does it all again for the lunch and afternoon snack deliveries. often, she will stop to assist patients filling out their dinner-selection form, providing the interaction that is her favorite part of her job.

“Every room I go into offers a different experience,” Meyer says. “It’s like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to find inside. The nurses and doctors are saving lives all day, and here we are bringing a tray of food. But the patients’ eyes light up when we come in, reminding us we are doing our part.”