A special edition of Cook of the Week: Donna Fagler


This week’s cook of the week is Donna Fagler. Donna is a devoted wife and mother to her husband Stuart Fagler and her daughter Nikki Hayslip. In her downtime she enjoys fishing, going to the beach and reading. Donna is also a committed employee to CarePartners of Georgia where she dedicates her time to changing lives for the better. In honor of Mental Health Awareness month and her unwavering faithfulness to her job, Donna’s friend, and coworker Kathy Durden, would like to share a special message in recognition of her.

“As a long time, friend, and co-worker of Donna’s it only seemed natural to highlight her as the cook of the week this May. Anyone that is familiar with Donna knows that she has a lifelong career in helping others with mental illness and ensuring that they achieve their life goals. She began her career at River Quest and is currently working with our local schools and families through CarePartners of Georgia, a local behavioral health company. She is best known for the work with transition youth-emerging adults. These are individuals with a mental health diagnosis transitioning from youth to adulthood between the ages of 18 to 27. Donna works with young adults, families, adult allies, and community partners to develop a system of care to support the transition from youth to adulthood. Donna builds upon the strengths of young adults and creates an array of supports and plans that specializes in mental health and related services to meet the unique and changing needs of the individuals served. Donna also fosters young adults to identify life goals and helps build skills and resources for them to achieve those goals.

Donna’s roll on the treatment team is to teach life skills and connect young adults to the things they want and need to live successfully and independently like resources for housing, counseling, medical care, employment, and education. The case managers continue to work with the young adults after these connections are made to coach them through the changes, they are making to improve their lives, which is vital for them to make key decisions.

One of her favorite home-based lessons is helping her students learn to cook in their home. Learning how to cook teaches many needed skills as one transition into adulthood. Through this process, Donna helps them learn how to budget, read, and select recipes, how to be safe in the kitchen, how to follow directions, how to establish healthy routines, and they learn problem-solving skills when things don’t always work out. There are also emotional benefits to the cooking lessons. It gives individuals a reward at the end. The creativity also improves their quality of life because through the flow of joy and meditation. While her students enjoy the process of it all, Donna says the best part is the smile on the persons face when they are proud of what they accomplished and say, ‘that’s so good!’. They now look forward to these classes and happily share that they cooked the dish for their family or friends. As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month it is important to remember that Recovery is a deeply personal, unique, and self-determined journey through which an individual strives to reach his or her full potential. Persons in recovery improve their health and wellness by taking responsibility in pursuing a fulfilling and contributing life while embracing the difficulties one has faced. Donna is creative as she partners with individuals in Emanuel County to learn how to live their best life and be happy productive citizens in our community. It is also important to remember we all may not have a mental health diagnosis, but we do all have Mental Health Needs so take care of yours! Find fun things to do! Hopefully Cooking can be one of them! One of our community partners throughout the years has been the Summertown Food Bank. The Chicken recipes that ask for Chicken Breast have at times been substituted with Canned Chicken. Some of the recipes used in the past for session are based on the food from the Summertown Food Bank. Donna teaches the students how to make substitutions to fit in a budget or the supplies you have on hand. We are very appreciative or all our partners in Emanuel County that help us help others. Each person that Donna works with consistently gives her glowing reviews for her compassion. They always comment on how willing she is to go the extra mile, and her dedication to serving others. She has a gift of going out of her way to do what’s needed and to make things work. We are so appreciative of you Donna!” Here are some of Donna’s favorite recipes that she and her CarePartners make together. Enjoy!

The Favorites of our youth

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

•Chicken Breast Cut Up (2)

•2 Bags Broccoli Cooked

•1 Can cream of mushroom

•1 cup mayo

•½ cup shredded cheese missed in

Mix all ingredients together. Sprinkle 2 cups of cheese on top. Bake at 359 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes

Chicken Salad

•Chicken Breast (Boiled) 2


•Sweet Pickle Relish

•Add Celery if desired

Cut up Chicken. Add Mayo and Relish celery Stir.

Hamburger Dip

•Hamburger Meat 1 lb.

•Rotel 1 Can

•Velveeta 1 lb.

Brown Meat and Stir in Rotel and Cheese


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