For Celeste, working at DaVita is all about the people. “I talk to every patient and make an effort to remember things that are going on in their lives,” she shares. “It is my goal to make each person feel special.”
Since graduating from the University of New Mexico, Celeste has spent the last 13 years making her patients feel special at the DaVita center located in the beautiful Colorado Mountains. “Our population is made up of many Ute Indians. They are wonderful people who love to play games and tell jokes.”
And while it can be challenging to teach some of the non-English speaking Native Americans about nutrition, Celeste loves their humor and rich storytelling culture. Little did she know she would become a legend in her own story.
Celeste shares, “Mutton (sheep) is a very important source of protein for the Native Americans in this area. One Thanksgiving I decided to make posole for the patients using mutton instead of pork. I put a huge cooker of posole on to cook overnight. Mutton has a very unusual smell while it is cooking. In the morning, my husband became so overwhelmed by the odor; we had to move the roaster to the garage. Unfortunately, the house was so permeated with the smell we couldn’t get rid of it for days. During transport to the facility, the posole spilled in my car and I had to drive 30 miles with the window down even though it was snowing. My teammates are all Native Americans who love to cook mutton. They laughed at the “beligana” (white lady) who cooked mutton and have been retelling this story for years.”