Celebrating National Nutrition Month in Our FacilitiesMarch is National Nutrition Month. To make sure that Kindred facilities are prepared, Karen Omietanski, MBA, RD, LD, Senior Director of Nutrition Services, Nursing Center Division, Kindred Healthcare, and Quincie Grounds, RD, LD, CNSD, Nutrition Services Clinical Consultant, Hospital Division, Kindred Healthcare, have put together some resources to help facilities celebrate the importance of good nutrition.

“Each facility will get a National Nutrition Month flyer (pictured below) that they can copy and display in various locations throughout the center,” Omietanski says. “They’ll also receive a Certificate of Recognition to be presented to their registered dietitians.”

During National Nutrition Month, Omietanski and Grounds also send facilities a list of possible methods for educating staff about proper nutrition and for honoring their dedicated Nutrition Services employees. The list includes:

  1. Submitting articles that celebrate the Nutrition Services Department to the Kindred News and/or local nursing center newsletter.
  2. Having a potluck lunch where other departments provide food for the Nutrition Services Department.
  3. Sending a card of appreciation to the home of each Nutrition Services staff member.
  4. Holding a nutrition-related contest.
  5. Having a formal recognition ceremony and inviting the residents and other department staff.
  6. Asking Nutrition Services to present an in-service training on nutrition at the next all-staff meeting.
  7. Inviting residents and/or staff members to share ways that Nutrition Services employees have enriched their lives via a facility bulletin board.

“The idea is to encourage our facilities to promote good nutrition and to recognize the expertise of the more than 300 Registered Dietitians who work at our nursing centers, hospitals and division offices,” says Grounds.

March is not only National Nutrition Month, but also National Social Work month. In recognition of both, staff is encouraged to sponsor a food drive to benefit a local food bank or other charitable organization. “Employees donate the food for the food drive and identify a local charity to which they’d like the food to be donated,” Omietanski says.