While choosing a career can be difficult for some, for Joyce, it was all a matter of chemistry. “I enjoy knowing the chemistry involved in food preparation,” she explains. “Clinical dietetics carries the process a little further when nutrients from food are related to how the body functions, and then knowing that the food choices made can be interpreted to assist in the medical care of patients. This process still fascinates me,” Joyce says.
Joyce was born and raised in Lufkin, Texas. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Stephen F. Austin State University and then received another bachelor’s degree in Nutrition/Dietetics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
After living in the Houston area for almost 30 years and raising her family, Joyce moved to a rural area 5 years ago and joined DaVita as a dietitian.
Joyce enjoys educating her patients in ways that make it fun and memorable. “Most of our patients are indigent, so getting protein foods becomes an issue,” Joyce says. “One of my favorite explanations of protein foods seems to bring delight to many of my patients. My saying is that if it has feathers, fur or fins, it is a better protein choice,” she states.
“I really try to make a difference in patients’ lives,” says Joyce. “Being a dietitian follows the core values and mission of DaVita to me, and I try to live up to that standard daily.” Joyce adds, “The most rewarding aspect of my work is seeing that the patient finally understands what is being explained, and why it is important to follow the renal dietary guidelines. This patient understanding will certainly help their outcomes.”
Eating your renal-safe veggies is a great way to get vitamins and other good nutrients. Joyce shares some of her favorite vegetable recipes from Carrot Pineapple Salad to Zippy Zucchini.