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Food service worker makes patients feel better one meal at a time

Hinsdale – Dionte Farmer knows it’s probably his smile.

Five days a week, the Adventist Hinsdale Hospital employee politely knocks on doors and delivers meals to patients. He always gets his fair share of compliments and he’s pretty sure he knows why.

“A lot of people, especially some of the elderly women, say I have a really nice smile,” said Farmer with a modest shrug. “I think it helps put people in a good mood.”

Maybe it really is that easy. For always helping patients and his fellow employees, Farmer was named the 2012 Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Employee of the Year. He was chosen from almost 2,000 full-time employees at the hospital.

“My motto is – ‘treat everyone like mom and dad,’” said Farmer, a 27-year-old Westmont resident. “When I go into a patient’s room, I don’t know what that person is going through, so I do what I can to make them feel better. I always knock and offer to run down to the cafeteria to get anything else they need. Sometimes I can tell patients are really happy to see me.”

Farmer joined the hospital in 2009 when his brother, who also works in food service, urged him to apply for a job. During that time, he has delivered meals to all types of patients, from kids recovering from minor falls to adults preparing for major surgery. Some patients really need Farmer’s smile. Others may not even notice him quietly slip in and out of their room, leaving only a tray of food behind.

And it’s not just patients who appreciate Farmer’s good disposition and helpful attitude, said Lynn Fuerst, Farmer’s boss and dietary manager at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

“I constantly see Dionte helping his co-workers,” Fuerst said. “He’ll run up to rooms to bring down the heavy tray carts and go out of his way to open a refrigerator door for another employee whose hands are full. Dionte makes the day brighter for patients and employees.”

Farmer was recognized at Adventist Midwest Health’s annual Employee of the Year celebration, held in February. He received a plaque and a $1,000 check.

Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Media contact: Sheila Galloro, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; 630<-856-2359.