Nobody disputes that many tasty dishes originate in Italy. This culinary delight from DaVita dietitian, Sandra, features two staples of the Italian kitchen: ravioli and the humble zucchini. Tossed together with some chicken broth, garlic and a few other simple seasonings, Ravioli and Zucchini make molto bene magic.
Sandra admits her reasons for becoming a dietitian were pure and simple. “I enjoy working with food and I like helping people,” she shares. Originally from Wisconsin, where Sandra cheered on the Green Bay Packers, she attended Colorado State University and enthusiastically supported their Rams while furthering her studies. “During my internship, I loved dialysis rotation and did an extra one. I loved it so much, I wrote a thank-you note to the renal dietitian who was about to retire.”
Sandra says, “The most rewarding aspect of my job is making my patients smile so they don’t have to think about dialysis for a while. They make me smile, too, by the way! I try to make a difference by getting them on assistance programs for phosphorus binders. I always approach patients with respect. They are like my family.” In addition to caring about her patients, Sandra says, “I most enjoy working for DaVita because the company cares about patients and teammates. Our new facility administrator, Cindy, is working hard to make our center a number one facility. My teammates rock!” exclaims Sandra.
Since joining DaVita in 1997, Sandra says the most challenging aspect of her job is, “getting my patients’ albumin levels up.” But Sandra isn’t one to shy away from a challenge, currently she is training for her first Ultra Marathon 50-mile run.
Sandra believes the most important thing patients can to do improve their health is to take responsibility for their care. To help empower her patients with knowledge Sandra says, “I try to come up with creative teaching ideas. I asked my center’s facility administrator to purchase a utility cart which I wheel around from one patient to the next and do food demonstrations. The cart is a great teaching platform. The most surprising thing I’ve learned since starting work at DaVita is how much I learn from my patients!”
Located only three miles from her home, Sandra rides a bike to work. She likes that her home and work are in close proximity. “I see my patients at the grocery store. My neighbor’s mother has dialysis in my unit.” In 2006, Sandra received DaVita’s Shining Star Care Giver Award. She says, “It doesn’t get any better than that! DaVita Westminster has the hardest working bunch of patient care technicians and nurses that I have ever worked with. I’m proud to be part of this team.”
Give Sandra’s Ravioli and Zucchini a try. With low phosphorus, low sodium and great taste, this is a dish to make you feel good all over!