Sandee, a DaVita dietitian from
The song Strawberry Fields Forever was inspired by John Lennon’s childhood memory of hearing the Salvation Army band play on summer days at the Strawberry Fields Children’s Home (orphanage) around the corner from his home. Like John Lennon, Sandee was inspired to make a difference in people’s lives from a young age.
Her first step was in her own life. “My path in deciding to become a dietitian started at the age of 13 when I became a vegetarian. At the time I knew little about good nutrition and found it difficult to obtain information. So, I started to do research on vegetarianism and developed a strong personal interest in nutrition and health. There was no question as to where my future was headed.” Becoming a renal dietitian was the next step for Sandee. “I was first exposed to the renal field during my dietetic internship. I was fascinated by the complexity of chronic kidney disease and the multifaceted role dietitians have in patient care.”
Sandee is dedicated to helping her dialysis patients reach their goals. “I make a difference in my patient’s lives by utilizing an optimistic approach which empowers them to lead the fullest lives possible and be proactive in their care. Seeing a sense of accomplishment in their faces when they meet goals they have established for themselves is a rewarding and satisfying experience.”
While adopting a renal diet can seem overwhelming, Sandee guides her patients step by step through the process by explaining the kidney diet, showing how food affects their lab results and reassuring them regularly. “I enjoy being part of my patients’ lives and getting to know them as people rather than just patients. I give them and their families confidence in order to make necessary adjustments to their diet and lifestyle while on dialysis. The single most important thing a patient can do to improve their health is to be proactive in their own health care.”
Her endless patience and kindness inspire Sandee’s patients to become stronger emotionally and physically. She is full of creative strategies to excite her patients. “The most popular activity at my facility was a game in which patients would receive $5 of Monopoly® money for having a phosphorus level within range. I had several prizes that were $5 to $50 Monopoly money. Patients could save their Monopoly money to trade for prizes.”
Sandee’s personal touch makes the biggest impact. “I once had a patient who told me that I reminded her of her daughter who lived out of state, so conversing with me made her think of her daughter each time.”
Two DaVita dialysis centers in
“I enjoy working at DaVita because I believe in the Core Values and the quality of care DaVita offers their patients. I am happily surprised by the quality of patient education material as well as employee training tools.”
You’ll be surprised at the versatility of Sandee’s Strawberry Fields Forever recipe. A few flavor additions to fresh strawberries creates a new taste sensation that you can eat from a bowl, add to fresh greens for a delicious salad or spoon over cake for a short cake twist.