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Make Your Mark: Rita Bratton cooks with care and attention to others

The mission of Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), “to honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults,” is fulfilled when the actions of our employees demonstrate our stated values. In doing so, they “make their mark” upon those we serve. In our continuing series, “Make your Mark,” we introduce you to PHS employees who are living out these values.

We’re sure you’ll want to meet Rita Bratton, Cook at Maranatha in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Rita lives out the PHS value of “Ready and Engaged People” by reaching out to residents and co-workers every day. 

Rita has served at Maranatha for 9 years. She started as a server and was promoted to her present position as a cook. She is proud of the growth that she has achieved but says that creating relationships with residents and co-workers is more important to her. “Being able to serve older adults is very gratifying for me. I enjoy being a cook because food makes everyone happy and it gives the residents an opportunity to socialize,” she said.   

Her co-workers recognize how Rita is making her mark. Heather Stagg, Maranatha Nutrition and Culinary Director, had this to say:

“Rita is always putting residents, families and staff first. She takes pride in creating beautiful and delicious meals and honoring residents’ special requests. Above and beyond her duties, she helps in other capacities without even being asked. When we have unexpected open shifts, she comes in early or on her day off to help, sometimes arriving before dawn with less than 30 minutes to get breakfast served on time.” 

Maranatha has witnessed multiple examples of Rita’s readiness. 

  • She gave candy and a note of encouragement to a co-worker on his last day because she learned that he was distressed about having to resign in order to relocate with his family. 
  • On a hot summer day, she attended to a resident who fell in the parking lot, bringing her water and shading her with an umbrella until the paramedics arrived. 
  • She stepped up to help with food ordering, training and record keeping while Maranatha sought to fill the vacant Culinary Supervisor position.  
  • As she finishes her shift, Rita greets each of the next shift culinary staff members by name, asks how they are doing and provides a daily update to ensure that they too can deliver good service. 
“Rita does something special every day,” said Heather.  

It is easy to see how Rita lives out the PHS pledge of being ready and engaged to “create an environment of teamwork.”  Thank you to Rita and all the PHS employees who stand ready to serve older adults, support co-workers, fulfill their calling and uphold the PHS mission every day.

PHS currently employs over 1,300 people who work in culinary services and dietetics. Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their day? Share the good news and the many opportunities to make a mark at

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