Vegetable Paella by Caroline from Virginia

Caroline says she became a dietitian because she “was always in the kitchen with my Dad. Learning about food inspired me to find out how it helps our bodies to keep strong and healthy.” She now inspires others by educating and motivating her patients to see that small changes can make big differences. “My approach is being down to earth and real,” Caroline explains. “I try to never make people feel like they are just another patient. I take my time and make sure we can communicate our needs to each other so we can work together and make a difference.”

The Illinois native completed her education at Southern Illinois University, and then chose the renal field because it was her favorite rotation during her internship. Caroline has been with DaVita for only four months, but appreciates that there is so much support within the company. She enjoys working with her diverse team who hail from such places as England, Bulgaria, Russia, Jamaica and Poland. She likes that her center is in a very historical part of the city, but working in a city can be difficult at times. “Working in the inner city, where the patient population cannot always afford the appropriate medications, food and supplements for their needs is the most challenging aspect of my job,” says Caroline. 

However, Caroline is up to the challenge and committed to helping and educating every one of her patients. She believes that the single most important thing patients can do to improve their health is to care about their well-being. Caroline feels very rewarded when she sees the changes in her patients’, and “the way they feel once they’ve made the commitment to change the way they eat and take care of themselves outside the clinic.”  

Speaking of being outside the clinic, Caroline says she ran into a patient’s family members at the grocery store recently. She noticed they had a list of foods that she had provided to them earlier that day. Caroline states, “They didn’t recognize me, but I recognized them and saw them discussing and choosing certain foods over others…just because of my list. I felt really appreciated.”

Everyone will appreciate Caroline when they try her recipe for this wonderful Vegetable Paella.


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