I graduated from Penn State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Science. From there, I moved to Buffalo to pursue my Masters degree in Dietetics and complete my Dietetic Internship at D’Youville College. I am very grateful for the diverse experience I received in my internship at D’Youville working across Western New York. Specifically, I gained experience at a variety of hospital and community settings. At Buffalo General and Kenmore Mercy hospital I worked primarily with cardiac and diabetic patients. At ECMC I worked in the ICU helping to calculate nutritional needs and ensure adequate nutrient intake for recovery in ICU/Burn-victim patients. At Women and Children’s Hospital I worked with infants and children to help complete nutritional assessments to ensure
estimated nutrient needs were being met. At Independent Health I worked with their Foundation to represent Independent Health within the community and promote wellness and healthy eating. At Head Start I created nutritious and interactive snacks to help promote healthy choices among pre-school aged children. While in my master’s program, I completed my thesis titled Osteoporosis Knowledge of Adolescents -- I sought to understand the knowledge of Osteoporosis prevention in school-aged children as it is often considered a disease of the elderly but it is a disease that can help be prevented in early life. All of these experiences gave me the knowledge base and confidence to begin my career as a Registered Dietitian.
While in school, I gained experience working in long term care as a dietetic technician at Fairchild Manor and Elderwood Healthcare at Wedgewood. While working as the dietetic technician my responsibilities included working with the Registered Dietitian to monitor food preferences, track intakes and weights, ensure estimated nutrient needs were being met, and collaborating with residents and their families to involve them in their care planning. Working in long term care helped me understand that health and nutrition matter at every age and that nutrition is person-centered instead of disease-centered.
Upon graduation from D’Youville in 2012 with a masters degree in Dietetics and a G.P.A of 3.97, I became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I started working for DaVita Dialysis in hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and home-hemodialysis settings. This is where I spent the first 8 years of my career. What I loved about working with end-stage renal disease patients was getting to know my patients and building a relationship with them. My responsibilities included providing individualized medical nutrition therapy to patients based on their labs, kidney function, and dialysis modality. I helped monitor patient’s nutritional status, fluid status, and manage their bone mineral density labs. Diet can have an impact on overall health and ultimately quality of life, so with that in mind I worked with my patients to set short-term and long-term nutrition goals. My objective in working with renal disease patients is giving them the tools and resources they need so that they can make informed and empowered choices to improve health outcomes.
While working in the dialysis setting, I had extensive training in Motivational Interviewing. Motivational Interviewing is a counseling technique used with patients. It explores readiness to change, reasons to change, and then works together to come up with a plan for lasting manageable dietary and lifestyle adjustments. Motivational Interviewing is something I have excelled at and something with which I believe in. It has helped me to redefine what it means to be a dietitian; I love to work with patients to find out what is truly important to them in their lives and help them understand that their diet and lifestyle can help them improve their quality of life.
It is through this experience in Motivational Interviewing that over the past year I have felt passionate about wanting to switch from ESRD into functional nutrition. I have a desire to help patient’s slow or even prevent ESRD and other comorbidities by addressing underlying nutritional and lifestyle factors affecting health. With regards to renal nutrition, by preserving renal function this can help potentially delay the start of dialysis and ultimately improve the quality of life.
My passion lies in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, which is essentially preventative nutrition. In the various settings I have worked with both as a student and as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I have helped patients manage their comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity and renal disease. By taking an integrative nutrition approach to patients I believe that each person is unique and their approach to their specific disease needs to be unique as well. By looking at the whole person – their diet, lifestyle, environment, and past medical history -- we can collaborate together to form a plan to help you work towards your health goals.
Credentialed by the Commission On Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND)
Certified through the University of the State of New York Education Department Office of the Professions
Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND)
New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NYSAND)
Dietitians In Integrative & Functional Medicine (AND Practice Group)
Renal Dietitians Practice Group (AND Practice Group)