Deanna Denny, RDN
HOME MODALITY DIALYSIS
for something nutrishus
We continue to see similarities in the personality types that are drawn to dietetics. Like many/most, Deanna is passionate about helping others and has a variety of skills to offer. It's also unique to continue to see the dietitians that are entering private practice. I don't think there are many other professions where individuals spend their 'off' hours working in their area of expertise - we really must love what we do! From dialysis to counselling, teaching classes and working in the grocery store, Deanna is making her impact to help slow disease progression.
Why did you become a RD?
I became a registered dietitian because I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives. I quickly realized at a young age that what you eat is really a reflection of what you are and what problems you will encounter in your lifetime. My dad is a type II diabetic who has had a minor heart attack in the past. I helped with the influence from other members of my family to make sure that his disease progression slows down through the use of good foods. I was so happy to have graduated from an esteemed RD program and be able to have this knowledge of what healthy eating really entails to better my lifestyle and many others including my dad.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I currently work by day at a dialysis clinic that focuses on home modalities. It's one of the few stand alone home programs within the state of Michigan. I love my job and being able to develop close relationships with the patients and be able to impact their diet in meaningful ways. By night I help counsel clients 1:1 at a holistic gym that values all the key components to wellness. I also help teach Cooking Matters classes to areas of need. On the weekends I help out at a local grocery store with another RD with the support from the Wellness Foundation of that town.
How would you explain what you do?
As a registered dietitian I impact what people eat on a daily basis. I help them make more informed choices of what is actually good for their body. This is so key in this world where educational resources about diet by the media can be so skewed so I am able to help people decipher what is really right for them.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
I would say my week is never typical. I am always keeping my schedule full as most other RDs do, so for me it is always an adventure. I am always meeting new patients and clients. It is exciting for me to be able to immerse myself in their world and figure out an approach that will work for them to get them to that best healthy self they envision.
What has been your career path?
I started off working in foodservice management, even before I graduated and passed my RD exam. After that point I was still working in foodservice management. I helped manage a hospital kitchen, cafe and coffee shop. While doing this I was being trained on how to be a clinical dietitian in a hospital. Then I transitioned into an opening at a nursing home where I practiced over 2 years. I wanted a change from that so I took an opportunity at an incenter dialysis clinic. In that opportunity, I helped out over 13 clinics, which gave me experience in every single modality of dialysis. Then a brand new clinic opened up that specialized in home modalities and I have been there for the last three years. I have now started dabbling in more private practice consultant work on the side and probably will continue to do this for as long as I can.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
The dialysis company I work for really focuses on creating more leaders within its community so I have recently completed their 6 month leadership program.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
In 5 years I see the industry continuing to grow as more individuals continue to make poor lifestyle choices and have more complex chronic diseases. The demand for RDs will continue to grow and they will be more valued as experts in nutrition that help others make better lifestyles for themselves, while slowing disease progression down.
What would you like people to know about RDs?
Registered Dietitians are the true nutrition experts within the community. They spend years learning and studying nutrition. They then have to obtain practice clinical hours and pass a certification exam. They have rigorous requirements so if you are thinking of seeing someone about altering your diet and food intake make sure that person is a registered dietitian.
What is your favourite meal?
There is nothing better than eggplant parmesan, my absolute favorite.
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