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Cheryl, who just celebrated her eighth anniversary with DaVita, truly enjoys her work. “I became a dietitian because I love food—both cooking and baking. And, of course, I like eating healthy and tasty at the same time, too,” Cheryl said. “I like to share my interest and knowledge with others. This career matches my interest in food and science very well,” she added.
Her DaVita center boasts thirteen chairs, a peritoneal clinic and a staff of 13 teammates and three physicians. A fish tank with a variety of colorful fish and plants provides a welcoming and pleasing décor for patients, visitors and teammates.
The most rewarding part of being a dietitian with DaVita, according to Cheryl, is knowing she is able to help bring some comfort to people who have a challenging illness. “It is great to show people how they can enjoy many foods by making a few adjustments in the preparation or in the portion size,” she said, adding, “When I address their concerns, I do so with great respect. I feel that I am making a difference.”
Cheryl noted that, “Keeping up with the ever-changing new food products available and new research on kidney disease is the most challenging part of my job. I am always reading and learning to improve the health of my patients.“
DaVita’s “One for All and All for One” message is one that Cheryl really responds to. “The teammates in my facility and in the company are professional and also fun! We have a very caring team here and strive to make each person’s day a little better. There’s lots of laughter and smiles along the way. Our patients receive quality care every time they are here,” she said.
There was a special patient that touched Cheryl. “Norm was a collector of cookbooks that he would share with us,” said Cheryl. “I think he had over 1,000 of them! Some days I would see his books lying on the nurse’s desk and knew DaVita teammates were enjoying them too.” Cheryl said Norm would hand out both renal and regular recipes for everyone. Cheryl recalled, “Norm liked to cook by taste and knew how to adjust ingredients to make it oh-so good!” Each fall, Norm and his wife Donna would make two large pots of chili, one with beans and one without for all to share. “He even brought all the toppings for us,” Cheryl continued, “The sour cream, chopped green onions, Tabasco® sauce and crackers. We always looked forward to ‘Norm’s Chili Day.’”
Cheryl stated, “Norm was a very giving man to make a dish that he could not fully indulge in as we did. He dialyzed with us from 1995 to 2003. We’ll always remember him. This month’s featured recipe of Fettuccini Alfredo is one example of his talent for cooking.”
In honor of Norm, perhaps, this tribute recipe should be renamed “Fettuccini Norm.”
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