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Remember high school biology? While some got in trouble for talking in class, others were actually inspired to learn. DaVita dietitian Kathleen was one of those students. “My high school biology teacher greatly influenced my choice to go into health care in general and dietetics specifically,” Kathleen explains. “She was such a dynamic teacher. I loved every minute of her class and developed a particularly strong interest in nutrition because of her.”
Kathleen’s enthusiasm for learning about nutrition didn’t end there. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science and Education at Seton Hill College, Kathleen went on to complete her master’s in science degree (MS) in Nutrition Science and a master’s of business administration (MBA) in Health Administration.
Over the past 18 years, Kathleen’s impressive education helped her develop an innovative approach with renal patients, especially during the 5 years she’s been with DaVita. “I work very hard to make learning the renal diet interesting for patients through games, bulletin boards and getting patients to teach and help one another,” Kathleen says. “What I find most challenging is getting patients to understand that following their diet will help to improve their quality of life.”
Seeing patients regularly is an aspect of working at a dialysis center that Kathleen enjoys, “It’s rewarding for me to know I am helping others and am providing ongoing care rather than seeing someone one or two times.”
Kathleen says of her center, “We are a very large facility with approximately 200 hemodialysis patients and 30 peritoneal dialysis patients. There is a team spirit here that strives very hard to meet the needs of this large population.” She adds, “We are currently undergoing major renovations, making each day an adventure.”
Kathleen is proud to work at DaVita. “While recently earning my MBA, I had several papers [to write] per course. Almost every paper I wrote was related to DaVita. I had a tremendous opportunity to learn about our company in a way that many teammates may not. This is a company that instills a great deal of pride. It is also a very exciting time to be with DaVita. With an ever changing health care environment, it is good to know that DaVita is at the forefront of change and growth,” she shares.
To get everyone into the holiday season, Kathleen serves up recipes for a festive feast of special pork chops and stuffing.
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