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March 15, 2024

Director of Nutritional Services Maricarmen Jaimes is a Shining Example of Dedication and Compassion

Mari-Carmen JaimesSince joining HHS in December 2021, Maricarmen Jaimes’s journey to becoming the director of nutritional services has been an example of resilience, passion, and a steadfast commitment to making a difference.

After Maricarmen’s education was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, she pivoted from her original plan, drawn instead to opportunities that would allow her to contribute to the healthcare field during such a challenging moment. Starting as a patient ambassador, she embraced the role with enthusiasm, connecting deeply with patients and finding purpose in meeting their dietary needs. 

She stayed focused on her career goals and continued to move up, spending time as a diet clerk, patient services manager, and culinary director. Maricarmen’s hard work, determination, and strategic vision, combined with the support she received from HHS leaders, enabled her to grow her career, eventually leading to her most recent promotion in November 2023.

Director Nelson Tiburcio and Vice President Frank Boerdner’s guidance and belief in her potential were particularly central to her success. “From the moment I stepped in as an ambassador, [at a short-staffed account], they never once overwhelmed me; instead, they showed me that anything is possible with dedication and perseverance. Their unwavering commitment to putting others first left a lasting impression on me,” Maricarmen reflected.

Maricarmen’s motivation stems from witnessing the impact of dedicated dietary staff on her father’s care after he suffered a heart attack. This moment underscored what a large impact dietary and nutrition positions can have on patients with restricted diets. This reaffirmed her commitment to passionate patient care.

“Being in the hospital can be a tough experience, whether it's for weeks or just a few days. So, when I walk into a room, take [the patient’s] order, and show them that they're my top priority, I can see the difference it makes during their stay,” she shared.

In addition to the impact she makes in the lives of patients, Maricarmen is passionate about making a difference in the lives of her team members, prioritizing their well-being and emphasizing the importance of their roles. Team members tend to flock to her, wanting to be on her team. Regarding this reputation she has formed, she said, “Hearing [this] feedback never fails to bring a smile to my face and reinforces my belief that I am indeed making a difference. It fuels my determination to continue developing a supportive and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.”

Growing up in a competitive family that highly valued education and sports, Maricarmen gained the essential skills of teamwork and cooperation, setting her up for success in her current role. Her family’s support, along with the support of her partner, Mychal, has carried her during the last three years, even when things were incredibly challenging. 

To fellow team members, dedicated to developing their careers and finding success, Maricarmen says, “Open communication with your supervisor [is important]. Keeping them informed about your work and any challenges you may face is essential for a smooth operation. Additionally, it's crucial to prioritize punctuality and reliability by consistently arriving on time for your scheduled shifts. Our patients are our top priority, so always strive to make them feel valued and important by providing excellent care and attention to their needs.”

Maricarmen certainly has a bright future ahead of her and no doubt, will continue to develop her career. Her dedication to and compassion for the patients she and her team serve are what this work is all about. 

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