Back to Blog

Dishing on dining services

As we celebrate National Nutrition Month in March, we’re putting the spotlight on a few members of our dining services team who work tirelessly to provide our residents with nutritious and delicious meals every day.

Dena Dotson, dining services director
For the past year and a half, Dena has worked as the dining services director overseeing everything in the department including a weekly nutrition meeting, care plans for each resident and initial, annual and quarterly assessments.

“I enjoy making the residents happy, which includes going to the store to get something special for them. They look forward to their meals,” said Dena.

Dena hosts a food committee meeting once a month where residents share what they like and dislike.

“I take the input and go to my cooks with it to see what we can do to improve something or add something,” said Dena.

Some of the favorite dishes enjoyed by residents are the lasagna, fried chicken, homemade soups, taco salads, cheesecake, ice cream, chocolate cake and brownies.

“I have very good cooks that do an amazing job making the food great and I have a great staff that wants to make the residents happy,” said Dena.

Meet a few of those staff members that work with Dena:

Sandy Bone, dishwasher
Working as part of the dining services team for 19 years, Sandy is always lending a hand – and a hot or cold drink – to the residents by serving up coffee, juice and hot chocolate. She loves being around the residents and staff. Her advice for good nutrition: More salads and soups!

Vanessa Smith, cook
Cooking up delicious meals for us for 19 years, Vanessa is known for going out of her way to make residents whatever they want. She makes them very happy. Vanessa loves to cook, which makes this the perfect job for her. Her advice for good nutrition: Get educated on foods that are healthy.

Lori Reese, dietary aide
On staff for just under a year, Lori feels the residents are happy with the dining services team because of all the choices they offer. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with the residents – she loves making them happy. Her advice for good nutrition: Follow a good, low-fat diet.


PHOTOS: Dena Dotson (left) likes making the residents happy through providing the foods they enjoy. Vanessa Smith, Brenda Gowen, and Sandy Bone work in dining services at Farmington Presbyterian Manor.

Back to Blog