Food and Nutrition Team
Javier Guerrero - Operations Manager, Palomar Medical Center Escondido
Javier has worked for Palomar Health since 1995 at various campuses. He has been promoted through the ranks from food service worker, assistant cook, cook, lead, supervisor and Operations Manager at Palomar Medical Center Poway. He now oversees the Food & Nutrition Services as Operations Manager at Palomar Medical Center Escondido. His experience includes retirement facilities, restaurants and hospitals. He received a degree in Criminal Justice Administration and graduated from the Palomar Police Reserve Academy. Prior to Palomar Health, he worked as a Code Enforcement Officer for the North County Transit.
Supervisors: Escondido Campus
Gelita Bain - Supervisor Patient Services
Gelita Bain has more than 20 years of successful managerial and leadership experience in Food Service, the last 10 years here with Palomar Health. She was instrumental in the opening of the Palomar Medical Center Escondido and the new Patient Room Service. A highly dedicated and contributing individual who is known for going above and beyond the regular duties dedicates the time and effort necessary to achieve results and patient satisfaction.
Julie Stavros - DTR, Nutrition Services Supervisor
Julie started her career in Food Service over 20 years ago landing her first job in 1993 as a Food Service Director at a Psychiatric Hospital in Westchester County NY. When she had enough of the cold New York winters Julie moved to California and started as the Food Service Director at the San Francisco Women and Children’s Hospital. Next, as the Director of Dining Services with Morrison Senior Living, Julie knew that she wanted to be working with the elderly. Julie worked at numerous Long Term Care Facilities/Retirement homes and enjoyed working with the residents by holding baking classes, Nutrition Jeopardy, giving tours of the food service operation and conducting monthly Food Forums with the residents. In 2014 Julie decided that she wanted to live in San Diego and became a Food Service Manager at the Eating Disorder Center at UCSD in La Jolla. Palomar Health invited Julie to join their team in 2017 as the Nutrition Services Supervisor. She is dedicated patient satisfaction, food service safety, and high quality care. Dedicated to improving the patient experience, she enjoys every opportunity to make meaningful connections with patients. When not at work Julie loves mountain biking, hiking, and is a committee member on the Logistics Team for the North County Alzheimer’s Association.
Tina Koenig - Food Service Operations Supervisor
Tina started in Healthcare as a CNA and HHA; she used her professional skills and compassion to work as a caretaker for all of her grandparents. She started in food service as a “trainer of trainers” in the retail grocery business. Her passion for taking care of others led her to Palomar in 2000 where she started in trayline and catering. She has worked in patient services, as a cook, and as a Café lead as she assumed greater responsibility in FANS and is now the Supervisor of Dietary Operations.
Pedro Tolentino - Production Supervisor
Pedro is a passionate, devoted, and self-taught Sous Chef, he began working in the restaurant industry in 2006. Pedro has worked at multiple establishments in different capacities in food service including as a waiter and dishwasher and he worked his way up to lead cook positions. During his food service journey, Pedro fell in love with the culinary culture and realized that cooking was his passion. Cooking for Palomar Health at the Poway campus nurtured his passion and he developed a desire to challenge himself to make healthcare food a better experience for patients. He strongly believes that food is more than just a meal; but a way of nourishing and healing the body and the soul. As Production Supervisor at Palomar Medical Center Escondido he continues to pursue his love for culinary and healthcare.
Dragana Lekovic - Retail Supervisor
Kelly Layne - Retail Supervisor
Palomar Medical Center Poway
Khristina Teope - Food & Nutrition Operations Manager, Palomar Medical Center Poway
Khristina started her career with Palomar Health in 2014 as a Patient Services Supervisor in Nutritional Services at Palomar Medical Center Poway and was promoted to Food & Nutrition Operations Manager at Palomar Medical Center Poway. She has held many roles in food service operations throughout San Diego County which including food service worker, diet clerk, prep cook, and line cook and kitchen leadership. She has a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Food and Nutrition from San Diego State University. She is a certified Food Safety Manager and holds a Plant Based Nutrition Certification.
Jose Ramirez - Production & Café Supervisor
Jose started his food service career with over 10 years in restaurants before joining Palomar Health in 2012. His experience leading in kitchens as a sous chef helped him swiftly earn the role of Café Lead at the Escondido location which led to his current role as Dietary Supervisor at the Poway campus. Jose’s passion is creating classic food with a healthy twist. Overseeing the Retail Café, he enjoys promoting wellbeing through food to the hospital staff and surrounding community.
Melvin Serrano - Patient Services Supervisor
Melvin Serrano started in 2007 with Palomar in the Downtown Food Service operation. At the new Palomar Medical Center he was promoted to a Lead position and is now the Supervisor of Patient Services for the Poway Hospital and Villa Pomerado. Melvin enjoys providing exceptional customer service and has a passion for helping patients heal with nutritious and delicious meals. Melvin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cal State San Marcos.
Shara Damle, MS, CNSC (Certified Nutrition Support Clinician), RDN, District Clinical Nutrition Specialist
Shara has worked at Palomar Health since 2008 beginning at Palomar Continuing Care Center and then was promoted to Clinical Nutrition Specialist in 2013. She has worked as a clinical dietitian in hospitals since 1994 and also has worked as a consulting dietitian in long-term care facilities and Hospice. She also has experience in critical care and general clinical nutrition. She received her Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition and her Master's degree in Clinical Dietetics from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India. She completed her Dietetic Internship at VA Medical Center, San Diego. Shara enjoys teaching Indian Classical Dance in her spare time and travelling around the world with her husband and 2 children.
Selene Caputo, MS, CNSC, RDN
Selene has worked for Palomar Health since 2005. Her areas of interest and specialty are in critical or intensive care of medical, surgical and trauma patients as well as diabetes management & Neonatal intensive care work. Prior to joining Palomar Health, she worked in public health nutrition and then as consulting dietitian for assisted, LTC and subacute facilities. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees and completed her Dietetic Internship in Foods & Nutrition at the University of the Philipines in Diliman,Metro Manila. She enjoys gardening and travelling. Her best stress reliever is spending time with her dogs.
Eva Chin, RDN
Eva has worked at Palomar Health since 2005 and currently works as a Clinical Dietitian at all 3 campuses. Her areas of interest are geriatrics, diabetes, and nutrition support. She has also worked as a consulting dietitian at long term care facilities and adult day centers. Eva received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and completed her Dietetic Internship at San Francisco State University.
Maria Cordero, RDN
Maria started at Palomar Health as a Foodservice Supervisor from 1999-2005. Became a Registered Dietitian from 2005-present. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition and completed her Dietetic internship at St. Scholastica's College Manila, Philippines. She recently was conferred Certified Culinarian by Escoffier International Culinary Academy in January 2014. Maria acquired the title Chef RD.
Kelli Gecewicz, MS, RDN
Kelli has been working at Palomar Health since 2018; she has been a dietitian for 13 years and enjoys working in a variety of inpatient settings including critical care and trauma. Kelli earned her Bachelor’s Degree for Cal Poly Sn Luis Obispo and her Master’s Degree from Boston University. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her other interests include running, travel, and entertaining
Erin Goulette, MS, RDN
Erin received her Master’s Degree in Nutritional Sciences and completed her Dietetic Internship at San Diego State University. She has worked as a dietitian in health care since 2002 and her area of interest is critical care nutrition.
Chelsey Harrison, RD, CNSC, RDN
Chelsey has worked for Palomar Health since 2003. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics and Food Administration, and completed her Dietetic Internship at California State University Long Beach.
Kerin Holland, MS, RDN
Kerin has her Masters Degree in Nutrition from San Diego State University, and completed her Dietetic Internship at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She also has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston. She enjoys working with many different patient populations. Kerin also enjoys running, cooking, traveling, staying active and spending time with her family.
Katy Kaufman, MS, RDN
Katy has worked as a clinical dietitian with Palomar Health since 2016. She has her master’s degree from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship at the VA Los Angeles Healthcare System. She loves spending weekends by the beach or traveling and exploring new restaurants with friends.
Stacey Kong, MS, RDN
Stacey began working at Palomar Medical Center Escondido in 2018. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She completed her dietetic internship with University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and received her Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition at University of Wisconsin Madison. Stacey is a cat lover and has two cats: Sum Sum and Po Po.
Janet Liu, RDN
Janet has been working for Palomar Health since 1998. She has been in the position of Clinical Dietitian for Palomar Medical Center Poway since 2005. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics, and a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from University of Wisconsin – Madison. She completed her Dietetic Internship at Porterville State Hospital in California.
Ashley Luciano, RDN
Ashley earned her Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Arizona Medical Center. She began working at Palomar Medical Center Escondido in 2015. When Ashley isn't working, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking, cooking, and taking cat naps.
Marisa McBride, RDN
Marisa was born and raised in North County San Diego and has worked for Palomar Health since 2002. She worked many years with the geriatric population in Long Term Care, both for Palomar Health and Consulting. She is now primarily at Palomar Hospital Escondido and enjoys the acute care setting. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of California at Davis, and completed her Dietetic Internship at Loma Linda University. Her hobbies include surfing, photography, and traveling with her family.
Virginia Ruble, RDN
Virginia has been a Clinical Dietitian at Palomar Medical Center Poway since 2004; she completed her bachelor's degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University in 2003, and finished her supervised practice program in dietetics at SDSU in 2004. Virginia was raised in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and finished high school in San Diego. Virginia enjoys spending her personal time traveling and spending time with her husband and daughter, Nikki. Her hobbies include volunteering for Labsnmore.org dog rescue, baking, sewing, college football, and movies.
Margaret Shirkey, RDN
Margaret attended San Diego State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition; she completed her dietetic internship at the V.A. San Diego Healthcare System. In 2013 Margaret graduated from the San Diego Culinary Institute. Margaret lives in Fallbrook with her 3 dogs, 2 goats, husband, and son.
Denise Sievering, MA, RDN
Denise graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University in 2016, followed by completion of the Dietetic Internship program at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP). Prior to joining Palomar Health, she was a staff-relief dietitian at NYP-Columbia University Medical Center, primarily covering oncology units. Prior to pursuing a career in dietetics, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2005 and a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2008. She practiced as a Mental Health Counselor in New York and New Jersey, specializing in substance abuse, suicide risk assessment and prevention. In her spare time, Denise enjoys traveling, and spending time with her rescue dog, Ripley.