The Cancer Nutrition Care Team
Why partner with an Oncology Dietitian?
Registered Dietitians (RDN’s) are food & nutrition experts that are also credentialed health professionals with the ability to provide “Medical Nutrition Therapy”. Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is an evidence-based approach to treating certain chronic conditions through the use of individually-tailored nutrition plans. MNT provides a course of action that allows clients the opportunity to achieve proper nutrition which can positively impact cancer outcomes.
How we can help you?
RDN, CSO, CDCES
After attending a lecture by an olympic dietitian, at a basketball camp in the 6th grade, I was awestruck and inspired to become a registered dietitian! I began my nutrition journey attending Virginia Tech University, earning a bachelors degree in dietetics, and completed my post graduate dietetic internship through the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Program.
Starting my career in 1999 as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I worked as a clinical dietitian, first specializing in diabetes care, and earning the CDCES credential (certified diabetes care and education specialist). Then my path took a surprising and serendipitous turn…
I moved geographically in 2005, and was ready to begin working in diabetes care, when an opportunity to work in oncology arose. Always believing that I would be a dietitian that worked with athletes, and also in the realm of diabetes, I was truly taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed working in oncology, and it has since turned into a passion.
Enjoying the challenge and the heart that it takes to work with this inspiring patient population, I decided that this was where I would focus my attention. I have been oncology dedicated since 2005, earning the CSO credential (board certified specialist in oncology nutrition).
Rounding out my background, I hold certifications in personal training, adult weight management, and also have a passionate interest in Eastern medical modalities, particularly Traditional Chinese Medicine. Working in oncology, I most enjoy the holistic approach to care, that wraps multiple healing arms around the patient, to change, rebalance and harmonize the environment of the body, and heal at the deepest level.
On a more personal note, I live in Central New Jersey, surrounded by beautiful farms and local farmers markets. I share great joy living with my husband and two daughters, who yes, eat their vegetables!
Growing up, I always knew that I loved all things food: eating it, cooking it, sharing it. However, it was not until I accidentally bumped into a nutrition professor in college, that I realized that I could make a career of it! I started my professional studies in the fall of 2011 at Central Michigan University, and by spring 2014, I had earned my Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Dietetics. I was accepted into Graduate School at Central Michigan University where I completed my clinical rotations and passed my board certification exam to officially be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian.
I started practicing as a dietitian in the summer of 2015. I worked briefly as a Clinical Nutrition Manager, for a long term care facility, but quickly transitioned into a role as an outpatient oncology dietitian, and I have never looked back. I earned my CSO credential in the fall of 2019, and to this day, I am even more certain that the field of oncology is exactly where my heart resides.
Working with oncology patients and their loved ones has provided me so much more than a paycheck, but a sense of purpose, belonging and community. It is true when they say, “you will never fight alone,” and I know that I am beyond blessed to be a part of so many peoples’ journeys and to be by their side as they fight the good fight.
My husband and I live in a small town west of Traverse City, Michigan. We share our home with 100 pounds of pure fluff and love, our dog Murphy. When we are not working, we can often be found exploring local beaches, hiking, following a wild hair, or road tripping through the back roads of Northern Michigan.
MS, RDN, CSO, LDN
Oncology nutrition is my passion, and this is something that I discovered almost twenty years ago, and I have not wavered. My career path has provided me with tremendous opportunities to serve the cancer community, including working in hospitals, non-profit wellness, research studies, and culinary collaborations. Naturally, my journey has led me to join the CNC team, because I believe that every single person diagnosed with cancer should have a dietitian on their team. Our virtual reach will afford this opportunity to more patients and caregivers.
Upon learning the fact that not every cancer patient has the chance to work with a dietitian, I felt inspired to pursue a Master’s Degree to improve the current situation. Statistics have shown a lack of access to oncology dietitians. I believe that anyone affected by cancer should have the opportunity to work with a dietitian who is a board certified specialist in oncology nutrition. The CNC team, comprised of dietitians who have earned this specialty credential, are a passionate group of dietitians that are eager to empower patients with the advantage of nourishment through all stages of their cancer care. Because there has been an increased awareness in the
critical value of nutrition for all cancer patients, this is an exciting time!
My approach, when working with patients, is to partner with them to make decisions together, rather than telling them what to eat or not eat. Some refer to me as the “Permission Dietitian.” One of the most rewarding aspects of my career has been witnessing the transformation a person makes when exploring the potential of optimal nutrition. Nutrition promotes health in every aspect of their life! Yes, food is essential for life, but deciding what to eat is an act of
self-care, it connects us with others, and it empowers our lives. I believe that food is more than just nutrition.
I am an East Coast transplant living in Chicago’s North Shore, where I still reap the benefits of vast farm markets in the summer, and I begrudgingly manage the winter with sips of warm tea and steaming bowls of soup. As a former semi-pro soccer player, I maintain my need for activity by running with my dogs, golfing with my husband, and riding bikes with the kids.
RDN, CSO, LDN
I am a registered and licensed dietitian that has been practicing dietetics since 2004. I was born in Guatemala, and emigrated to the United States with my family when I was eight years old. I am fluent in English and Spanish. Growing up in Guatemala and also in southern Florida, has afforded me a rich cultural background.
I graduated from Florida International University, and I completed my dietetic internship with the Florida Department of Health. My specialty is oncology, and I am a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. I have spent over half of my career educating cancer patients, having worked at the American Cancer Society, and also at a large cancer institute in Hollywood, Florida. As part of my practice, I have been significantly involved in community outreach, facilitating many cancer prevention programs, with the goal to translate evidence-based nutrition science into practical advice for patients. I love helping patients navigate the challenging cancer-nutrition world.
When I am not working with patients, I am advocating for them. As an active member of the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics I have held the positions of Awards Chair and Public Policy Coordinator for the state of Florida. As the Public Policy Coordinator, I advocated for nutrition and public health programs within the state of Florida, and on the national level with members of Congress.
I love spending time with my two children and all of the craziness and silliness that comes with it. Family time is the best and food is a huge component of our everyday lives. Food and eating is fun and enjoyable for my family, and I want to help my patients experience the same in their home.