Let’s say you’ve planned a meal for a certain number of people and suddenly the number expands and blows your meal prep out of whack. What to do? How are you going to feed those extra people? If you were serving Turkey and Beef Chili by DaVita renal dietitian, Arfrances of Texas, you could just cook up a pot of rice, serve the chili over it, and presto, the meal stretches further and everyone gets fed.
Arfrances describes herself as a former “Air Force military brat,” and says she lived in many states as well as in Japan for three years. Back in the U.S., she attended University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University. “I became a dietitian because of my desire to reduce the medical complications associated with poor dietary habits,” Arfrances says. “I wanted to work within a community, teaching patients and their families how to be proactive, not reactive.”
The renal field beckoned when Arfrances knew she wanted to directly impact chronic patients with renal disease, so they could have an improved quality of life via dietary modifications. “The most challenging aspect of my job is finding programs for patients in the Medicare Doughnut Hole needing phosphorus binders and other medication coverage. The most rewarding aspect of my job is when I see a noncompliant patient improve a clinical outcome by making positive changes in both their diet and medications.”
Making a difference in patients’ lives is not always easy. As a nutrition expert, Arfrances works with teammates, patients, families and caretakers on goals and objectives that will ensure above-optimal nutritional outcomes. “I love hearing about success when patients share stories about the dietary modifications they’ve made and how it has resulted in improved quality of life. I have been with DaVita for seven years, and my work approach involves relationship building, along with team effort and positive, realistic goals.”
In Arfrances’ opinion, the single most important thing that can be done to improve health is for patients to take ownership with a plan of action and set short- and long-term goals.
“What I most enjoy about working for DaVita is the opportunity and support for my professional growth. The commitment to quality and Core Values are adhered to at the facility level. No matter what DaVita location, the quality of service and commitment are constant. There is an environment of synergy which makes everyone desire to be the best. The facility administrators are committed to creating a positive, fun, rewarding work environment. They offer leadership and support with genuine concern for teammates.”
As a renal dietitian, Arfrances wants to ensure her dialysis patients get enough protein in their diets while keeping phosphorus and potassium in a satisfactory range. Her tasty Turkey and Beef Chili recipe fits her criteria for a healthy and delicious meal for dialysis patients and their guests.