Tonya Pizzuro, Director of Food and Nutritional Services and Wellness Team Leader at the
Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center in Toms River, New Jersey, came to understand the concept of “self sustained” and “green” in every sense of the word at an early age. Having been raised on a farm in Indiana, she learned the importance as well as the benefits of using fresh, local grown products when preparing meals for friends and family. Realizing how much she enjoyed the culinary arts, her life seems to have always revolved around food.
Tonya’s began her pursuit of a career in Food and Nutritional Services by attending Middlesex County College where she earned a degree in Dietetics. She later earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from FDU and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Food Studies at NYU. Her work experience began in school based food service and transitioned to B&I before securing her dream job at Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood, New Jersey as the Assistant Director of Food and Nutritional Services. Two years later she was promoted to Assistant Director for both Kimball Medical Center and the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center. This past January, Tonya was promoted to Director of Food and Nutritional Services for the Barnabas Behavioral Health Center and is very active on both the local and corporate level with the system Wellness initiative.
Since separating from Kimball Medical Center and transitioning to a stand alone department in January of 2012, the Food and Nutrition Department has fine tuned department roles to maximize efficiency and elevate the overall services. Lead Chef John Meklin assists in maintaining operational order and logic in the department while Chef Tom Jackson, a CIA graduate is always elevating the food production with his creativity and imagination. Lead Dietitian, June Small-Brooks, MS, RD is always on top of the latest diet and nutrition trends and incorporates the most up to date information into groups and inservices presented to both patients and employees. As a team, the department makes conscious healthy decisions when creating menus or consulting with departments food selections for special events. They also present cooking demonstrations and educational inservices to the employees throughout the year. Proud of everyone in the department, Tonya feels fortunate to work with such an extraordinary team. They are truly talented and passionate about what they do and understand how to work together to achieve their goals!
The Food & Nutrition Department are proudly maintaining Press Ganey scores in the 96th percentile. The department was recently recognized by Press Ganey for their accomplishments.
Tonya has been a board member of GNJSHFSA since 2010. Being a part of such an amazing organization with so many successful Food & Nutrition Professionals to network and share ideas with has been such a valued asset. She looks forward to continuing to work with GNJSHFSA and be a part of such an outstanding group of professionals. It is so rare to work with a group of people who are so willing to open their facilities, share ideas and work collaboratively with one another.