When Andrea Davidson started working at Cherry Village two-and-a-half years ago she was a dietary aide. Her next positions were assistant kitchen manager and then manager.
Now she can add certified dietary manager (CDM) to her list of titles. Davidson recently completed the CDM test, after taking the required courses.
“This education helps me every day as I oversee all dietary and kitchen activities,” Davidson said. “These include managing and scheduling the staff, planning meals, budgeting, and of course, ensuring everything coming out of our kitchen is cooked properly.”
Cherry Village, 1401 Cherry Lane, is a short- and long-term-care facility.
The 12 kitchen staff members, including Davidson, prepare three meals and snacks for an average of 60 people each day.
“A large majority of our meals are made from scratch,” Davidson noted. “We want to ensure residents have the proper nutrition and enjoy their meals. We constantly talk with them about what they like and don’t like,” she continued. “And we are aware of all special-diet requirements.”
Davidson consults with a dietitian at Cherry Village on a regular basis for dietary recommendations.
Cherry Village staff members notice right away if a resident is not eating properly. “When we learn about this, I discuss it with our director of nursing and administrator,” Davidson noted. “We then make whatever changes need to be made.”
Residents have a choice of three dining rooms but they also can eat in the privacy of their suites if they choose. “We encourage people to socialize with their neighbors during meal-time. But we understand if they would prefer their own space now and then,” Davidson commented.
Cherry Village has a long-term relationship with the Ben E. Keith Company, which helps with menus and supplies virtually all recipe ingredients.
Davidson is married and has three children; they live in Great Bend.
Pam Lewis, Cherry Village administrator, said Davidson is a “gift” to residents and staff. “Andrea and her colleagues cook up wonderful food every day,” Lewis said. “It is common for staff and some family members to share meals, almost daily.
“Andrea also is flexible and has more ideas for residents becoming even more involved in meal choices and planning.”