Meals and wheels: Austin Food Services team member recognized for kindness, compassion – receives new bike from co-workers

When Ian Corscadden's team learned he'd be receiving an award from Morrison Healthcare, they wanted to do something special to recognize the honor. They decided on a gift that would shorten his commuting time: a new bike.    

When Ian Corscadden walks into a patient's room, he delivers much more than a meal.

Corscadden, a member of the Food Services team at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, also serves up compassion and kindness.

Those items aren't on the menu. But they've proven popular with patients.

"Before Ian brought me my dinner, I was not having a very good day," one patient reported to Corscadden's supervisor, Alyssa Rodriguez, associate director of Food Service in Austin. "He listened to me and helped me open my milk. By the time he left my room, I actually had a smile on my face."

Rodriguez has gotten used to hearing reviews like that about Corscadden.

"Ian's story is one of quiet dedication and heartfelt service," Rodriguez says. "His ability to bring warmth and compassion to each interaction makes him a beloved member of the hospital community."

That story inspired Rodriguez to nominate Corscadden for Morrison Healthcare's Patient Services Person of the Year award. The team couldn't have been happier when  he won.

"We were all super proud," Rodriguez tells the Austin Daily Herald. "Everybody on the team got goosebumps."

Corscadden was modest about the recognition.

"At first I wasn't entirely sure why I was nominated," he tells the Herald. "It was very much a surprise."

'Work hard and be nice'

When Corscadden began working at Mayo Clinic Health System in August 2022, he was initially scheduled just 16 hours every two weeks.

Even with such limited hours, he quickly made an impact on those around him.

"He manages to give each patient the best experience he can with his undivided attention and willingness to go above and beyond for them," Rodriguez says. "Nurses have told us that not only do patients remember Ian by name, they have had patients return to get care and ask about him."

Ian's story is one of quiet dedication and heartfelt service. His ability to bring warmth and compassion to each interaction makes him a beloved member of the hospital community.

Alyssa Rodriguez

Corscadden's approach to his work is summed up in the words on the stickers he's placed at the bottom of his name badge: "Work hard and be nice."

What does that mean to him?

"Try to go in there and do the best you can," he tells the Herald. "Do things right."

For Corscadden, that means greeting people warmly, getting patients their meals quickly and accurately, and giving each person he encounters his full attention.

"The lengths Ian is willing to go for our patients seem to have no limits," Rodriquez says.

A new set of wheels

When Rodriquez learned Corscadden would be receiving recognition from Morrison Healthcare, she wanted to find a way to celebrate the honor. She knew Corscadden walked to and from work each day — a four-mile journey roundtrip — and wondered if she and her colleagues could make that commute a bit easier.

"What do you think about everybody pitching in for a new set of wheels?" she asked her team, the Herald reports. The answer was a resounding yes, and she quickly collected nearly $500 to purchase a bike for Corscadden.

His initial response to the gift?

"You shouldn't have done this," Corscadden tells the Herald. "It was way above and beyond."

Above and beyond is a good way to describe not only Corscadden but his colleagues as well.

"Without them there is no food service," Rodriquez tells the Herald of her team. "They put care into every tray we send."