Making Merry

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital provides a festive holiday atmosphere for patients.
Special to Inspire Coastal Bend

Stephen Dienda is expecting about 100 guests for Christmas dinner. While this would be daunting for many, it energizes Dienda. He already has created the menu (including making accommodations for those who have special dietary needs), planned the table decorations and settings and ordered the main course, side dishes and a variety of delicious desert options.

Dienda is the manager of dietary services at Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. He and other hospital employees are working hard to make the hospital festive for the holidays. “We’re sure that given the opportunity, our patients would love to be home for the holidays,” says Dr. Nilest, CEO of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital. “But that can’t always happen. So we want to make sure that our patients and their families can still celebrate and have an enjoyable experience.”

Along with providing a traditional Christmas meal, the staff has arranged for carolers to visit the patients, as well as other special activities so the patients remain entertained and full of holiday cheer. “We’re really working on creating a festive atmosphere,” Nilest says. “We want it to feel comfortable and homey for anyone who is with us during the holidays, from our patients and family members to coworkers and our outside guests. Everyone in the community is invited to come buy a meal in our cafeteria at any time, and Christmas is no exception. The more, the merrier!”

This is the first year that Dienda has been in charge of providing the hospital’s Christmas meal. After an amazing turnout at Thanksgiving, Dienda is excited and prepared to deliver the same quality of cuisine that has come to be expected here at Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital.

Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital is located at 5726 Esplanade Drive in Corpus Christi, Texas. It is a 35-bed, freestanding inpatient rehabilitation facility providing service for patients recovering from serious illnesses or injury. For more information, visit

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