Because of his test results, Dick was informed earlier this month that he is eligible to become a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional by the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers, a national organization based in St. Charles, Ill. To earn the CDM, CFPP credentials, a person has to pass a two-part exam. The first part deals with general nutrition, human resources and equipment and safety issues, while the second part of the exam is all about sanitation and food safety, Dick said.
According to the Dietary Managers Association Web site, http://www.dmaonline.org, 73.5 percent of the applicants passed the first part of the exam (CDM credential) and 65 percent passed the second part (CFPP). Applicants also have to meet work experience and training requirements before they can take the exam.
"I'm nationally certified now," Dick said. "It's a personal achievement. The preparation took years."
Dick started his career by earning a cook with honors certificate in 1983 from the Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward's Alaska Culinary Academy. Last year, he earned a Dietary Manager certificate from The Pennsylvania State University through distance education. Dick said earning the DM certificate from Penn State enabled him to take the national certification exam in October.
SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Chief Dietitian Libby Watanabe, R.D., helped Dick prepare for the exam. "I need to thank a lot of people who helped, but the list would run long and I'd miss someone," Dick said. "I'd like to thank everyone at SEARHC who helped me."
Dick has worked at SEARHC for nearly 15 years. In addition to his work at SEARHC, he also volunteers as a cook for the Sitka community dinners and local potlatches.