Julie grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida and attended The University of Florida. Shortly after Julie began college, her mother was diagnosed with diabetes. Julie attended a class led by a dietitian. “That class was so helpful, and I always remember the difference it made for our family,” she says. Later, Julie interned in a dialysis unit and when a job opened for a renal dietitian she “jumped at the chance” to take it.
According to Julie, “The most challenging aspect of my job is trying to encourage people to make healthful changes when they are not ready or willing to make them yet. And the most rewarding thing is to see those same people when they finally take that step. I try to make a difference by giving patients the information they need about their lab results and how to make them better. In the long run, that makes them healthier.”
Julie admits that she loves getting to know her patients and hearing their personal stories. “My approach is to be as supportive as possible, and make sure patients have the information they need to make the right choices about their diet and treatment. I suggest making the easy changes first and then tackling harder issues, one by one.”
At Julie’s center in North Carolina, patient care technicians have gotten involved in patient education which has made a huge difference in the team approach. Julie has worked with DaVita for six years and says that the company taught her how important teamwork really is. “Our center is so special because of our sense of fun.”
“I have a story to share about a patient,” Julie says. “When I first started working at DaVita, there was a lady who would always pretend she was asleep when I went into the patient care area to see her. Whenever I caught her awake, I would try to find other things than diet to talk to her about and was eventually able to joke about how she ‘played possum’ when I was around. Lately, she is on our honor roll list of good lab results almost every month and that has been a joy to see. No more playing possum!”
Julie’s Roasted Vegetable Salad will fill your kitchen with the most delicious fragrance. When you add garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar to roasted vegetables, the results are heavenly. Her Easy Chicken Enchiladas will also make dinnertime a fiesta.