As the Director of Food and Nutrition Services at the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, I have a lot on my plate (if you'll forgive the pun). Not only do I supervise our registered dietitians and food service employees and care for the nutritional needs of all of the patients in our 55-bed specialty facility, but I am also an educator, writer, speaker, leader, and trendsetter in my field.
"Hospital food" has always been stigmatized for being not only unappetizing (lime Jell-O and mystery meat, anyone?) but unhealthy—a stigma which I am working hard to reverse. I recently switched out a deep fryer for a skillet in our hospital cafeteria, and designed the Prairie Mediterranean Diet (which received a mention in the Wall Street Journal) to promote a healthier lifestyle both in and outside of the hospital.
My passion has always been promoting healthy lifestyles through healthy eating. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University and my Master's in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. I am a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist with the State of South Dakota. I am also a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Association for Healthcare Foodservice, and a founding member of the Nutrition in Complementary Care Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
It is my mission to see a healthy food culture implemented throughout our nation—starting with Avera Heart Hospital.