“Take charge!” That’s the single most important thing patients can do to improve their health, according to DaVita renal dietitian Mary. And she should know. Mary has been working in dialysis for over 20 years, since graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Mary’s interest in the field of nutrition began as a young woman growing up in Orange County, California. “I had a great home economics teacher in high school who sparked my interest in nutrition — which really started because I had a weight problem,” she shares. “In later years, I covered the dialysis unit in the hospital at my first job and loved the challenge.”
Today, Mary still loves the challenge of working with people with chronic kidney disease. She enjoys sharing in her dialysis patients’ successes and helping them make a difficult diet situation easier by introducing them to different foods. “I am here to help, not judge,” she says.
Since joining the DaVita team in October 2005, Mary has shared some touching moments with her patients. “At a past Christmas, a patient’s daughter gave me a Christmas note, thanking me for the ‘very special caring’ I gave to her mother. This was very meaningful to me as I lost my mother the summer before and know how important ‘caring’ is in health care.”
But life at the dialysis center is not always serious. Mary has a lot of fun being part of a diverse group of health care professionals and patients representing 22 countries. “We like to use a team approach. When I go on patient rounds with my social worker, we have been dubbed the ‘Blues Sisters’ and the ‘Double-A Team’!”
Add some fun and ethnic flavor to your next meal with Mary’s Creamy Pasta Primavera or Fiesta Roll-Ups. These delicious, easy-to-make foods were modified to fit into your renal diet and can be enjoyed by the whole family.