Treat your palate to a touch of the exotic with soup reminiscent of Morocco. DaVita dietitian Laura came to appreciate international flavors early—she was born in Tiberias, Israel and then moved to southwest Iowa where her mother was born and raised. “I have always believed that eating well is an important part of being healthy,” Laura says. “As a teen, I struggled to manage my own weight, and I know it takes a lot of support and caring to make healthy changes.”
Laura graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1999 and completed her dietetics internship at Iowa State in 2002. She says, “The most rewarding part of my job is helping patients improve blood levels. I strive to help people gain confidence by going the extra mile to answer questions and concerns, and giving them all the tools they need to manage their diet. I like to build a strong rapport with the people I work with, and my greatest reward is hearing praise when they see improvements.” Laura describes her approach as, “friendly, non-judgmental and caring.”
The most important advice she can offer patients is, “See the doctor and listen to recommendations—then take action! Some people still don’t believe that poor eating and lifestyle habits can harm them. I try to teach people that until they take hold of their health issues, problems will not just go away.”
As a DaVita dietitian for about one and a half years, Laura finds renal nutrition, hemodialysis and the transplant process interesting and rewarding. “It’s great working with transplant patients to keep them healthy and out of risk until they can receive a kidney.” Laura says one of the highlights of her time with DaVita was “when my Facility Administrator awarded me a shining star pin, recognizing my hard work with our patients’ osteodystrophy (bone disease) management, and improving our DQI (DaVita Quality Index) score for phosphorus and parathyroid hormone (PTH).”
Finally, Laura praises her DaVita teammates, noting that they won “Most Spirited Team” in the Annual Bowling Competition. Laura points out that this team spirit away from the clinic is a good indicator of the positive and upbeat attitude each individual brings with them every day to work.
Try Laura’s Moroccan Chicken Soup for a burst of nutritious flavor. This recipe reheats and freezes well, for economical, as well as healthy, additional portions.