Finding the fun in everyday situations is Mary’s specialty. A DaVita renal dietitian from Minnesota, Mary brings excitement to plain baked chicken with her Shake and Bake Chicken Extravaganza recipe. Mary finds the quickest, easiest ways to provide satisfying, healthy food for her patient’s dinner tables. Her Shake and Bake Chicken Extravaganza is filled with flavor and it’s simple to prepare.
Mary is not only a renal expert, but she’s a master at finding enjoyment in all life has to offer. She has mastered the art of practicing “patience with her patients.” Mary realized early in her career that a slow, easygoing attitude serves her patients’ needs in the long run. “One of my patients always brings in ‘junk food’ to eat during her treatment. She never followed my recommendations when it came to her diet so I would tease her about it and she would just laugh or smile. One day I was told that this patient really wanted to see me. I went to her station and there she sat eating a salad. She was so proud of herself and said she had turned over a new leaf and planned to start eating healthy,” recounts Mary.
Due to Mary’s slow, steady and understanding philosophy, she has seen big improvements in her patient’s lives. “My approach is positive and compassionate. The most rewarding aspect of my job is watching a patient’s health improve after initiating dialysis,” she says.
Mary has been a renal dietitian for over 20 years, but it seems like yesterday that she began her dietary path. “I became a dietitian because I was interested in science and nutrition. My renal rotation was the most challenging rotation and I decided from that experience that renal was the specialty area I wanted to pursue.” That naturally brought Mary to DaVita.
Although Mary has close to perfected her job, she’s still faced with challenges. “Convincing some patients that following their diet and taking their medicines will help them to feel better is difficult, but I impress upon them the importance of following their dialysis treatment time and schedule because it’s the single most important thing patients can do to improve their health,” shares Mary.
Mary likes the day to day interaction she has with her patients. “I really enjoy talking with them. I provide patients with the tools to understand and follow their diet to improve their health and well being. The most effective strategy is frequent follow ups and staying visible,” she says.
Over her long and successful career, Mary has seen many exciting changes at DaVita. “What makes my center special is that it’s an urban unit that just relocated (as of April 2008) to a beautiful, brand new facility. In the morning when you walk in the door, it smells new,” she says, adding, “We increased our beds from two to four to provide dialysis to those special needs patients who cannot sit up in a chair. In addition we have an isolation room with four chairs plus 16 other chronic stations.”
Mary works diligently with her team to enjoy the small pleasures in life and continue to have patience with her patients. If you have a little patience for cooking you can create a great chicken recipe from Mary called Shake and Bake Chicken Extravaganza. Turn plain chicken into a flavorful chicken dish using some of the tastier treats on your spice rack in about an hour from start to finish.