I recently met up with 6 of my undergrad classmates as they were celebrating their 10 year reunion. I was always the 'odd' one out - I joined them a semester late due to Team Canada volleyball training and I didn't intern with them, due to Team Canada training and heading to Finland to play pro volleyball. So, I won't actually have my 10 year reunion until 2020 based on when I went back to complete my internship year. I was definitely part of the group thought and was happy to catch up with them.
Over supper I couldn't help thinking about a blog post. I spend some of my time sharing dietitian stories and information about our diverse background and varied careers with the #WhatRDsDo interview series. There I was, in a room with my fellow Bachelor of Science in Nutrition classmates and we were all doing different things, and spread across the country. I decided to reach out to the whole group and see who would be willing to share what area of dietetics they work in or if they no longer work as a dietitian. This is what I have so far from our class of 23 (or 22 + me) and yes, we did have two male counterparts!
Heather Millar: "I work as a clinical dietitian in the area of inpatient oncology and stem cell transplant with adult patients. Congrats on the blog, you've put so much work into it."
Robin Hartl: "After just about 10 years of working in as a community dietitian in food security and child development, I am now working as a clinical dietitian in long term care."
Sabrina Bovee: "I'm not actively working as a dietitian in the region currently - trying to impact dietetics from a different approach as a LTC (long term care) manager."
Alana Melsted: "I am working as a Rural Community Dietitian :)"
Melissa Lachapelle: "I like to say I am in the business of feeding and growing babies ;) I work in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Inpatient pediatrics and Outpatient pediatrics. I represent my zone on multiple provincial networks and provide nurse and dietitian training in neonatal and pediatric nutrition. I enjoy the diversity within my job and am privileged to be part of a child's care from life's first breath into childhood."
Cheryl Krug: "After 9 years in pediatric weight management, I have recently started working with one of our primary care networks here in Edmonton as an outpatient dietitian. I see anything and everything....but the majority of what I do is chronic disease management. "
Brendine Partyka: "I've worked as a bariatric dietitian at the Kingston Bariatric Centre of Excellence for the past 5 years. We support & counsel on clinical nutrition and cognitive behavioural change pre & post bariatric surgery (VSG, RNY). Our program is part of the Ontario Bariatric Network, a growing collection of centres targeting obesity as a chronic disease. I'm also pursuing a masters in sociocultural studies of health, with intention to unite my background of dietetics and yoga studies."
Chelsey Matson: "I've been working for the last ten years as a Diabetes Educator at an outpatient clinic in Calgary. Most of my work is as an insulin pump trainer."
Kimberly Engel: "I worked for a few years with a non-profit organization focusing on food security and working mostly with immigrant populations. I then took a position with First Nations and Inuit Health- Health Canada, first as a Health Services Manager and then as the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Dietitian. I am now working as the Community Dietitian for two rural Primary Health Care networks within Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region."
Stephen Wan: "I am a Director of Operations in the primary healthcare system in Calgary, Alberta. With this role, I work towards enhancing access to integrated and comprehensive primary care, with focus on improving patient experience and health outcomes. Prior to this role, I have been directly involved in dietetics and management in the last 9 years of my career."
Tracy Sentes: "I have yet to hold a legit 'RD' role. I've done a few things but most recently I've been a Project Coordinator with a bilingual early years health promotion initiative called Healthy Start. I provide free training and resources to early childhood educators and teachers in licensed child care centres, pre-k programs, head starts and on-reserve daycares to help increase healthy eating and physical activity in the centre/classroom throughout Saskatchewan. Although I've been kind of removed from dietetics, one way I stay connected is by being a part of SDA (Saskatchewan Dietitians Association) through the Professional Standards Committee."
Heidi McClellan: "I am currently working casual at the Heart and Stroke Clinic at St. Mary's Hospital in Camrose, Alberta. I feel very lucky to be part of a team of very dedicated and compassionate cardiologists, neurologists, nurses, dietitians, and a pharmacist who all work closely together to educate and improve the health of clients who have CHF or have recently had a stroke."
Emily Ward Jones: "I have been working for the Cypress Health region for the past 9 years. I am currently employed with primary health as an outpatient dietitian. I am based out of Gull Lake and cover a few rural communities. Prior to this I was a clinical dietitian at Cypress Regional Hospital."
And who knows where we'll all be in another 10 years! Congratulations on all your successes.