Seven Years Later This Dietary Manager Grad Is Now Mentoring New Employees in the Field

Tanayry Mendoza graduated from CNM’s Dietary Manager program and is a key piece of the team at Advanced Healthcare of Albuquerque
August 23, 2023

Tanayry Mendoza knew she wanted to study nutrition, but as an 18-year-old first-time mom she didn’t know if she could find the time to attend school. 
Then her high school teacher told her about CNM’s Dietary Manager certificate program and she learned she could build a class schedule that worked with her busy life.

“I loved that the classes and the scheduling were flexible and the teachers and administration made it easy to get through the program at every step. Someone was there to help me whenever I needed it, be that with class work or registration,” she says.

Tanayry loved every part of the program and dug into topics including nutrition, food safety, the design and organization of food service systems, purchasing, and personnel management.

All her instructors reassured her that it was okay to explore all sides of the dietary program and eventually land on what she loved most. And as she neared the end of the program, Tanayry was placed into two internships that helped prepare her for a job.

She started at Presbyterian Hospital and went on to Advanced Healthcare of Albuquerque (AHC), gaining 90 hours of supervised, hands-on experience. At both facilities she shadowed dietitians and dietary aides that were integral members of the healthcare teams.

Edwardo Rivera, former dietary manager and now facility administrator at AHC, partnered with CNM to develop AHC’s internship program to raise awareness about the need of dietary managers in New Mexico.

“[AHC] was the first internship established for the CNM program. Since then, we have had numerous students come through the program. Many of them have gone on to pass the Certified Dietary Manager exam, are currently working in the field, and have gone on to do great things,” he says.

Tanayry is one of AHC’s success stories because she was eventually hired full-time as the Dietary Manager and has been overseeing kitchens and food service personnel for the last seven years. On a typical day, you can find her coordinating with facility cooks and chefs, managing patient dietary needs, monitoring sanitation and food safety, or ordering food and supplies for the kitchen. 

Now, Tanayry is using her expertise and experience to teach and mentor others who are interested in the field of dietary management.

“I love teaching other diet aides or cooks. My advice to them is if things look hard in the beginning—don’t stop, it always gets easier,” she says.