What does being a CDM, CFPP mean to you?
Nicole Stinson, CDM, CFPP
“Being able to give and help others in any way possible is a huge part of who I am. Receiving my certification has giving me a new and better understanding of nutrition and how important it is in healthcare. It has helped me bring new ideas to not only our kitchen, patients, and staff, but to my community as well. Food is my love language and being able to provide food and nutrition to others has become one of my favorite ways of giving.”
Shannon Ketcham, CDM, CFPP
“Becoming a CDM, CFPP was a culmination of almost 20 years of experience and hard work. For me, it is a rewarding career where I get to express myself through tasty and nutritious food. I also get to pass on my knowledge and experiences to my staff and fellow healthcare professionals.
I have worked in Skilled Care, Assisted Living and Independent Living; I find that I truly love Skilled Care and the challenges that it gives me. I like feeling that my opinion matters and being able to give education while doing what I feel is important. Making one tenant smile while working makes all the trying times so much easier.”
Mary Kueker, CDM, CFPP
“I love being a CDM, CFPP because it gives me great pleasure to serve the aging population. I enjoy every aspect of my work from making fabulous meals, to working with such wonderful staff, and meeting the needs of our residents. Every day I come to work, I know I am making a difference in the lives of not just the residents I serve, but also their families. I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful organization and take great pride in the work I do. I started my journey as a dietary aide and have found my true calling as a CDM, CFPP. I have a passion for food and nutrition, and this is the best way for me to showcase not only my love of the business, but also my staff's. We live in a smaller area than most so our residents are truly like family to all of us. Anytime I can make a resident, or their family, smile is the best day for me.”
Patricia Patterson, CDM, CFPP
“Being a CDM, CFPP is not for everyone, you need to have compassion for the elderly; listening to them about their food preferences, serving them nutritious meals and following their doctor ordered diets. I started in a culinary school with help from a Swiss chef that I worked under. Cooking was always a passion of mine making customers happy and even my own family. When I had an interest working in a Nursing Home, I became a CDM, CFPP worked very hard for this. I am proud of accomplished my goal and to serve the nutrition/clinical team.”
Sang Hyun Park, CDM, CFPP
“CDM & CFPP credentials have been with me for the past 10 years since 2012. Regardless of my job title or where I work in this food industry, I was always able to use my knowledge & skills as a CDM & CFPP. For example, as a CDM, I implemented a new Nutritional Labeling program successfully by working closely with our field culinary & HQ IT teams, and I used it to promote our food (Grab & Go) products to customers as a part of our marketing initiatives. And as a CFPP, I took care of various food safety related topics/events smoothly & professionally in each time. I have been proud of having CDM & CFPP credentials, and it will be the same for the rest of my foodservice career."
Mildred Zarate, CDM, CFPP
Johnson Creek, WI
“Having my CDM, CFPP has allowed me to be recognized as a professional. It has given me the opportunity to serve as an assistant dietary manager, a healthcare specialist in sales and now as a director of dining services in a continuum of care facility. I feel strongly that having this credential has opened many doors for me in my career. It allows me to continue to learn the best way to serve my clients and support my staff with the education provided through the organization. It's a career that allows you to be involved with both staff and residents and truly make a difference in their lives.”
Jessica Goldman, CDM, CFPP
“Being a CDM, CFPP means so much to me. I have spent 17 years in this industry. I get to share that passion and knowledge from all those years with my staff, coworkers, and Sisters (residents). I watch my staff use their creativity, knowledge, passion, and team working skills to come together to create delicious meals daily. I provide my team the tools and knowledge to grow so they can create these delicious meals safely for our Sisters. I am so grateful to be able to do and share what I am so passionate about every day.”
Martha Rincon, CDM, CFPP
“CDM, CFPP is a profession to be proud of. I have been in the profession since 1975, and every moment has been very rewarding even through trails, errors... A CDM, CFPP plays a very important role in the healthcare system.
As a CDM, CFPP, I make sure our patients and residents are well taken care of, through meeting their nutritional needs with quality and nutritious foods. We are part of the Healing and Intervention team, so we work together to improve the quality of life for our patients and residents. Through the screening and assessment tools, we focus on malnutrition in healthcare to help decrease healthcare cost, improve patient outcomes, reduces readmissions, and support healthy aging.”
Jean Bagby, CDM, CFPP
“I have been in healthcare foodservice for over 40 years. Started washing dishes and worked my way up through dedication, hard work, determination and education. I have been a CDM, CFPP for over the past 20 years and am so grateful for the ability to make the difference in someone's day. Having worked in Acute Care, Assisted and Independent living as well as SNF, the education I have received and continue to receive, has been a tremendous help. My team and I take pride, and are truly grateful to serve our residents well prepared, attractive, nourishing and tasty meals. Meals are the certain time of day residents look forward to. Seeing smiles on their faces and getting a nod of 'job well done' makes for a successful day.”
Joey Sickling, CDM, CFPP
“Being a CDM, CFPP means that I can share my years of knowledge to my staff, to try to make them better and to set them up for success. Seeing veterans receiving a hot nutritious meal that they enjoy is what makes my day worthwhile.”
Tabitha Baker, CDM, CFPP
“When you love what you do it’s not a job, it is a career. Becoming a Certified Dietary Manager, you are more than just the certification, it is a sense of pride and knowing you make a difference in your residents’ life. Nutrition plays a major part of their healing process. Each plan is tailored to the individual resident, being able to wake up each morning and walk through the facility give you a sense of pride. The smile and good mornings from each resident let you know you are making a difference in their lives!”
E. Marsha Reeves, DTR, CDM, CFPP
Levittown, PA“What being a CDM means to me is letting the residents and other professional staff know thatI have passed a nationally recognized exam that ensures that I am proficient in food safety and sanitation, nutrition, purchasing, and production. I work every day to provide my residents with the best and most nutritious meals possible in a welcoming atmosphere and train my staff to do the same. Being a CDM means I understand sanitation and the importance of have a clean kitchen to provide my residents meals. I am able to provide guidance to my staff about the best possible way to complete their daily tasks and have fun while doing it!”
LeAnn Alyea CDM, CFPP
"For me being a CDM/CFPP is rewarding and heartwarming! I have managed in the nursing home/assisted living fields as well as in a correctional facility. I take pride in knowing each person is getting a tasteful meal. If I can help one person each day in a positive way, I feel I have made some progress in life.
As a manager I enjoy helping others learn and succeed in the world of nutrition. I am only as good as I can build my staff to be!"
Bea Peterson, CDM, CFPP
"I have been a ANFP member for 30 years. When I started the CDM program, I did not know what or where it would take me in my career. But I will tell you investing in my education and ANFP as a volunteer has been and continues to be a very good investment professionally."
Brittney Maderia, CDM, CFPP
"Being a CDM, CFPP means that I can provide my residents with a quality food service experience they deserve. They can rest assured knowing that I have the knowledge to ensure proper food safety and sanitation. Being a CDM, CFPP also means that I am able to provide proper support/guidance to my Dietary team. Food brings joy to so many, and I'm grateful to ensure my residents’ satisfaction."
Rejean Sheehy, CDM, CFPP
"I have achieved the title of CDM, CFPP through academics as well as hands on training. I have obtained valuable knowledge which helps me provide excellent nutrition care through foodservice for my residents. I have been able to enhance my leadership skills and help create a strong food service department. I have become a valuable part of the interdisciplinary team bringing knowledge, ideas, and experience to help provide the best care. I am able to continue to expand my skills and knowledge through continuing professional education which only helps me to be a better CDM, CFPP. I strive to be a successful asset to the foodservice team by assisting others to develop professional standards and achieve workplace excellence."
Shelby Pirtle, CDM, CFPP
"Never in the world did I ever think being a CDM, CFPP would be so fulfilling! I love providing nutrition to my residents in any form, from purée to a mechanical soft diet! I love that we as CDMs give our residents, patients, and second family members the food they want, crave and NEED! I love the smiles on their face when a surprise ice cream treat shows up on their bedside table, and they were not expecting it. Giving them a choice at what they want to eat is priceless in its own. The food we serve is what they want, and they have a say so in it and they love that. Most don’t have a say in their medical care, where they are, and most don’t remember. To give them food is a treasure!"
Thomas Fox, CDM, CFPP
“To me, being a CDM, CFPP is a once in a lifetime experience. Having passed the exam and received the certification allows me to explore and learn new options in the nutrition and food services department. Not only has receiving continuing education allowed me to grow in this profession, but it has allowed me to meet new vendors and form relationships with them. During my time, I had the opportunity to attend an event at a local hotel where I received many lessons on food allergies, becoming an effective leader, and meeting new vendors from Gordon Food Service, Sysco, and Ecolab. I always enjoy helping others and learning new things. I can’t thank my boss enough for bringing this up to me. It is a lot of work, but at the end, providing your residents quality care and having support from all of your staff and faculty members makes it worth it.”
Trish De Leo, CDM, CFPP
St. Petersburg, FL
“My primary goal has always been to teach and develop the next generation of CDMs. Giving a person the opportunity to practice quality food service skills is a requirement, but to understand that there is much more than putting the best meal together for their clients is where they face their biggest challenge. Balancing management, production, clinical and now COVID concerns will test the best let alone a new student or recent graduate just starting their first assignment. We have an obligation to educate our successors so they can continue to improve our vocation.”
Jenni Matz, CDM, CFPP
“I have worked at my facility for 19 years and have been the CDM for the last 8 years. In the next year, our current Director is retiring, and I am hoping to take that position then. I have done many positions since coming to this facility. I started out as a Dietary Server, then a Line Cook, then was an office assistant, then CDM, and hopefully to be director come fall. Being in each of these past positions has really helped me in my current position. Even though not every day is rosy, as you all well know, I think the impact we make on the lives of our residents is important and the reason I still enjoy my job as a CDM.
These last few months dealing with the daily changes and challenges due to COVID-19 has shown me how resilient and strong my team is here. We have employees with varying degrees of panic about what these next few months will bring as our cases increase around our community. However, even the ones that feel that the apocalypse is coming are still showing up every day and working hard. Our management team has been trying to alleviate as much fear as possible and I think just that fact that our building was one of the first in our area to not allow visitors, make every staff take their temperature when they come in, and wear a mask makes people feel better. Also, our maintenance staff are busy making one of our halls a negative pressure isolation area so if we do get COVID-19 in our building those residents can be in that hall. We have daily meetings to address the concerns of our staff and to update them on any changes that has been made (which is almost daily). I am very proud of everyone that works here and how well they have been willing to pitch in wherever they see a need.”
Amy Lou Inez Clark, CDM, CFPP
"I have been in Nutrition for the past 30 years and a member of ANFP for the past 19 years. I have seen several changes along the way. This position is always a challenge and I learn every day. That is what makes this a great position for myself, as I am always willing to learn and enjoy challenges to the fullest."
Kim Judy, CDM, CFPP, NDTR, RDN, LDN
"I have been a CDM, CFPP for most of my adult life! I continued on with my education and became a DT, then onward to a DTR. I went forward with obtaining the status of RDN, LDN, and am licensed in two states. All along my career, I have always kept my status as a CDM, CFPP. Why, you ask? Keeping my status keeps me informed as well as up to date on our ever-changing career field. Thank you all for everything you do day in and day out for our patients and staff. Stay safe!"
Philip Decker, CDM, CFPP
"I have always been drawn to working with food. There was nothing more satisfying than to provide someone a great tasting meal that they could not provide for themselves. I started working in an assisted living dietary department in January of 2016. I became a CDM, CFPP in 2018 and I am in charge of the dietary department. The training that I received while studying for the exam was beneficial on many levels. Nutrition, scheduling, receiving products, and even dealing with staff. This is the best job for me because like I said when I started, there is nothing more satisfying than providing someone a great tasting meal that they cannot provide for themselves."
Donna Ynostrosa, CDM, CFPP
"When I first started long-term care, I didn’t have a clue! I went to school, earned my CDM, CFPP certification, and have grown from there. My CDM, CFPP certification has taught me so very much and I can’t imagine experiencing this pandemic without it. I was lost when I started, but now I am found! The learning opportunities are abundant. Thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey."
Dan Chenault, CDM, CFPP
"Since I became a CDM, CFPP almost 5 years ago, I have garnered so much information & knowledge about food service, especially in a clinical setting. I managed restaurants for 11 years before I decided to make a career change, and I thought I knew a lot about food service in general, but boy was I wrong. To this day, I am still continuing to learn new and exciting things pertaining to our industry, especially because of the current circumstances we are dealing with. There are many things that will forever change becasue of our current situation, but the one thing I believe is most important, that more poeple should and will pay more attention to and understand the importance of, is infection control."
Delia Rogers, CDM, CFPP
"Being a CDM, CFPP means I am making a difference. I am bringing my expertise and fullest potential to the table. It means that I am expecting the best through gaining the wealth of knowledge that so many CDMs achieve through hard work and dedication."
Stephen Slicis, CDM, CFPP
"I am so proud of being a CDM and being a member of ANFP. I thought I knew about food, being in the restaurant business for so long, but I was mistaken. A few years back I decided to change my job and work for Erickson Living. At Linden Ponds I was encouraged to reach for the stars and grow my knowledge. So I challenged myself to dig deeper and learn more about food and how I could help people with their choices. I am so happy to stand in front of residents and talk about food and understanding the health benefits, flavor profiles, program systems we use, and feel really confident. Being a member of ANFP and a CDM, CFPP has really made such a positive feeling when people ask what those initials beside my name stand for - now I simply smile and say 'Let's talk about food!' Hands down one of the best things I have done to improve myself and be better at my job is become a CDM, CFPP. I was very lucky to have a great instructor, a great director to push me, and a great company to support me on my path."
Paul L. Lee, CDM, CFPP
“I have been in the food business for many years, and in the healthcare business for the last seven years. I always want to be the very best at what I do and be in the forefront of the new regs and new thinking in the healthcare business. I believe along with hard work and engaging with teams, the next most important role for leaders is continuous learning, so in the end we can give our stakeholders the best experience for their investments, whether they be residents, owners, or team members. If we succeed in our quest, it will ultimately be good for the industry and the association we belong to. I believe in it so much that I started a consulting firm, CDM for Hire, and it has been a very rewarding experience.”
Gloria Spottswood, CDM, CFPP
“CDM, CFPP means explicitly to me, being a professional. It means I’ve walked the line, taken the courses, continued my education, advanced my knowledge, honed my skills, and enhanced my qualifications in the Food Services, Hospitality, Culinary Arts, and Food Safety and Sanitation industries. This directly means that every customer, whether a patient, resident, guest, family member, team member, or patron is to have the benefit of my extensive experience, which in great part includes my years of being a CDM, CFPP. This is the premiere certification that asserts me as capable, and an expert in many categories, to ensure a job well done in institutional healthcare food service operations, but also extends to all other facets of a fabulous plethora of choices in the entire industry on a whole. My CDM, CFPP credential is everything. It opens doors, grants me access, puts me in the lead, and assures that I am on the forefront of an ever-changing industry, helping me to maintain a high level of expertise.”
Angie Paxton, CDM, CFPP
"I love being a CDM because it is a pleasure to give back to our older generation and people who can’t take care of themselves. I love learning something new every day. I love nutrition. My job is very satisfying to me. I have been blessed to have touched so many lives. I would never want to do anything else.”
Read more personal stories of what being a CDM, CFPP means.