When Jason Venazio started working as a chef at VNA Hospice House, he realized quickly, it’s wasn’t a job, it was a passion. Coming from hotel and restaurant management, he’ll tell you, “It means so much to be here at VNA Hospice House. I know what I do really makes a difference.”
Being a chef means anticipating and meeting every need, knowing patients’ favorites, knowing what caregivers, family members and visitors look forward to, “Caregivers and family members are so worried about their loved one, they don’t take time to eat or rest. I want to personally make sure they have a good meal hoping they will try to relax and let their worries go even for just a short time.” Those who serve at the VNA Hospice House will tell you it isn’t work, it’s a privilege.
Jason will tell you it’s humbling. He’s inspired and dedicated to VNA’s patient first philosophy. It could be that special request for a stack of pancakes that brings joy to a patient. It’s the caregiver who needs that simple cup of coffee while strolling gardens, it could be family gathered for lunch or a visitor who just needs a snack and downtime on the couch. Being a chef is about being in the moment, “I want people to know when they’re here, they’re home.” In light of COVID-19, culinary service has changed a bit, but Jason’s personalized daily menu caters to every desire, every meal, every day.