Celebrate Registered Dietitian Day: March 12, 2014

By Karen Omietanski, MBA, RD, LD, PMP

Celebrate Registered Dietitian Day recognizes and thanks these food and nutrition experts that provide leadership in the nutrition care of our patients. Over 300 Registered Dietitians provide Medical Nutrition Therapy at Kindred’s Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Centers, Skilled Nursing Centers, Transitional Care Hospitals, Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals (IRFs), Kindred at Home, and Regional and Division offices.

Tina Reilly is the Food and Nutrition Manager and Registered Dietitian (RD) at Kindred Hospital Boston. She states, “I love being a Kindred Hospital dietitian because not only do we care about our patients and fellow employees through food and nutrition, but we are encouraged to use our creative and critical thinking skills to improve patient care services in all areas of the hospital.”

To become an RD, an individual must earn at least a bachelor’s degree, complete a supervised practice program and pass a registration examination. More than half of all RDs have advanced degrees at the master’s or PhD level. Additionally, RDs must complete ongoing continuing professional education requirements to maintain their registration. Many RD’s, including those that work for Kindred, also have additional certifications such as Certified Nutrition Support Specialist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition, to name a few.

RDs translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions that promote good health. According to Toby Smithson, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, "Registered dietitians’ expertise in nutrition and health is more extensive than any other health profession and has been recognized as such by Congress as well as federal health agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Numerous scientific studies over many years, including studies mandated by Congress, have shown that medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian can lower health costs, decrease hospital stays and improve people's health."

Kindred RDs are an integral in providing hope, healing and recovery. Cindy Coelho, Registered Dietitian at Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – Medical Hill and RD Mentor for the Nursing Center Division in California, puts it this way, “In my role as a clinical dietitian with Kindred I get to be a foodie, a biochemist, an educator, a health coach, a food behaviorist, an exercise advocate, a translator of nutrition science into a common language, a researcher, a preceptor, a mentor, and an integral member of a respected healthcare team. Who could ask for more than that! My job is not just work – it's fun. For me it's an avenue that fulfills my fascination of metabolism, my passion for nutrition, and a compassion for the health and wellness of others. And that makes being a dietitian a great thing to be."

Celebrate Registered Dietitian Day