Little Current’s Don Cook named new administrator of Centennial Manor

Don Cook

LITTLE CURRENT – The new administrator of the Manitoulin Centennial Manor in Little Current is certainly no stranger to the Manor or the local community, having worked there previously.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be exciting to step into this position,” stated Don Cook, of Little Current, when contacted by The Expositor last Friday evening. He will take over the position of administrator of the Manor as of July 12. 

Mr. Cook brings a lot of experience to the table. 

Currently, “I have been the manager of nutrition and food services at the North Shore Health Network (NSHN) (located in Blind River) for the past 10 years. They have a 42-bed (long term care) nursing home and 16 acute care beds.”

Previous to that Mr. Cook had been the manager of food services at the Wikwemikong Nursing Home for 16 years. “It was also during that time the Manitoulin Centennial Manor was looking for a food services manager. So, I managed both for one year, until I decided it was just too much to do both and continued to work in Wiikwemkoong,” he told The Expositor. He noted, “actually, I was a part-time food service at the Little Current hospital for a year before that.”

Mr. Cook is also a chef. “I have been cooking for 40 years and went into the health care field 27 years ago, and have spent the last 26 years in long term care management. “I actually started out as a trained chef in the private sector for 15 years before I started to work in health care. So, I’ve spent the past 40 years all in food service and private and in health care.”

“I first got into the health care field after taking a food service nutrition management program for the health care side of cooking. I’ve been a member of the Canadian Association of Nutritional Management for the past 26 years and as part of that, did further training to certified as a nutrition manager,” continued Mr. Cook. Over the years he also has done some teaching in long-term care (LTC) food service at Cambrian College, which he did for a few years. “Recently Canadore College was looking for an instructor in food service, and last year I continued as an instructor and teaching PSWs (personal support workers) in terms of working with patients with dementia, and health care issues in LTC.”

“I feel I have a good knowledge of all of this that has provided me a lot of experience in food service and with the management part,” said Mr. Cook. “It’s exciting to be able to continue at the Manor with all the experience I have and to be able to step into the administrator’s role and to learn more as we go from here.” 

“I’m very excited but confident and comfortable working with staff, residents and families at the Manor working together to provide quality care for everyone,” Mr. Cook told The Expositor. “And yes, I’m very much looking forward to working at the Manor, in Little Current. I have worked out of Little Current for a long time.”

“I am very happy to be able to inform the (Manor) board that after job interviews were conducted with candidates a full-time administrator has been hired for the Manor,” stated Pat MacDonald, chair of the Manor board at a meeting last week. She pointed out board member Dawn Orr, Tracy Lamirande, acting administrator for the Manor with Extendicare along with Keith Clement of Extendicare and she had carried out the interviews.

“It was pretty well unanimous among us that Don Cook be hired for the position of administrator,” said Ms. MacDonald. “He comes to us with a lot of experience,” she said.

“Don is from Little Current,” said Ms. MacDonald. “From our interviews with him Don he is a very warm, caring person and he seems to be a perfect fit in the ambience we’ve created and like to maintain in the Manor.”

The Manor board passed a motion to officially hire Mr. Cook as the new administrator of the Manor. He takes over the position that had been left vacant since former administrator Tamara Beam had resigned last month.