by Wally Wozniak

Executive Director of Support Services; Director of the Food & Nutrition Services
Sparrow Hospital

Wally Wozniak has been instrumental in fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. He has always tried to develop his workforce, and to promote from within.

For example, he encouraged a minority associate to complete his education. Down the road, this allowed the Associate to qualify for, and be promoted to a supervisory position. If this Associate had not received the encouragement and support from Wozniak to return to school to earn his diploma in the time frame that he did, it probably would have resulted in a different, less favorable outcome for the Associate. Wozniak has been proactive in building a very diverse leadership team by promoting from within those of various race, sex, culture, and beliefs.

In his role as the Director of the Food & Nutrition Services department, Wozniak is sensitive and inclusive to the dietary expectations and desires of the customers. Visitors to the Sparrow Cafeteria(s) on the Main and St. Lawrence campuses are offered special theme meals (on occasion) that feature menu items reflective of various cultures, religions, or lifestyles. These include: Black History Month, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, Fat Tuesday/Ash Wednesday—to name just a few.

In 2010, the Black History Meal celebration and Ash Wednesday Meal were held on the same day, offering meals respectful of both groups. For a hospital that is focused on providing the highest quality care to a diverse patient population, Wozniak is responsive to varying dietary needs. With the inception of Room Service to the Main Campus, patients can now order what they want (within their specific dietary guidelines) when it is convenient for them to eat. Patients are also offered foods or items that fit their lifestyle, including kosher meals, gluten-free diets, foods free of trans-fats, some organic foods, and locally grown or raised products. In 2010, Food and Nutrition went “live” with menus written in Spanish.

It should also be noted that the departments under Wozniak’s direction are among the most ethnically diverse at Sparrow, with Associates from various diverse groups and cultures including: African-American, Mexican-American, Asian-American, AsianIndian, European-American, and many more.

Having a diverse workforce demonstrates a leader’s concern and compassion towards inclusion. Where there is diversity, there is innovation. People of various backgrounds and cultures serve to enrich the environments where we live and work.

Wozniak’s actions as a leader exemplify the true spirit of diversity and inclusion.