For Marianne, deciding to become a dietitian was an easy choice. “I liked health care and home economics, so it seemed like a good combination.” After graduating from Clarke College in Dubuque in 1979, Marianne worked in community and hospital nutrition programs before becoming a DaVita dietitian in 2003.
Since that time, she has learned that a healthy diet alone is not enough. “Witnessing people’s attitudes about their illness is powerful,” Marianne shares. “I now believe that the single most important thing patients can do to improve their health is have a positive attitude.”
Marianne does her part to encourage a good attitude by showing care, concern and a little humor with her patients. “I enjoy getting to know them. They all have stories and amazing lives.”
And while her job does bring its challenges, Marianne finds that those challenges often lead to opportunities where she can really make a difference. “I try to be a resource without being judgmental,” she says. “I also try to help patients with limited resources, make good choices. That is the most rewarding aspect of my job.”
Here is a good choice that is a reward onto itself: Marianne’s recipe for Colorful Pasta Salad—a healthy side dish that tastes as good as it looks.