Deana Carnegie, Dietary Aid, Leavitt Family Jewish Home
Deana was born and raised in Jamaica to a large family. She was one of 9 children, with 3 brothers and 5 sisters. She graduated from Newell High School and then became a hairdresser. She was employed for many years as a hairdresser and during that time she married and had 1 son, Craig who is now 34. Deana came to the United States on May 2, 1999 and settled with her husband and son in Springfield. She started working at the Jewish Nursing Home on May 17, 1999 in the Dietary Deptartment and has been employed here ever since.
“I feel that I achieved a lot here,” Deana said. “I have met a lot of different people from different countries. I have also learned how to use different machines. And, I learned a lot about the kosher food practice because back in Jamaica I didn’t know anything about that.”
For twenty years. Deana has worked closely not just with the Dietary Deptartment staff, but with various residents, and other staff, and volunteers. “I love talking with the residents,” she said. “And I have worked with so many of the volunteers, especially in the cafeteria and in the coffee shop. People like Ester Cohen, and Abe and Hy Neigher, Elliot Levin and Rona Chase. There have been so many, I can’t name them all. “
During the COVID-19 months, Deana said that despite things being stressful, “I told myself I wasn’t going to quit my job, because really, you can get the virus anywhere. I never missed a day of work during COVID, I never called out.” In fact, Deana works almost every day at the JNH. “If someone calls out, I often stay to help,” she said,” because I don’t like to leave if they are short-staffed.”
In her spare time, Deana enjoys spending time with her son and daughter-in-law Dolly, and her grandson, CJ, who is now 4 years old. They play together and they talk together. “He’s very smart,” she said. Deana has many cousins here in Springfield, and they enjoy having dinners and birthday parties together. She tried to go back to Jamaica every 2 years to visit her relatives.
We thank Deana for her over 20 years of incredibly devoted service to the Jewish Nursing Home. She cares deeply about the welfare of the residents and their dietary needs. She goes above and beyond in her job, and gives of her heart and soul to the residents, the volunteers and everyone with whom she interacts. We wish Deana and her dear family many years of joy and good health!!