Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Retired RD Reflects: Four Decades of Service

I retired from my job from WVUH on Friday.  While we lived and worked in other parts of the state, I spent 35 years of my career in Morgantown.  I began and ended my job at WVU working in the same kitchen at the Health Sciences Center.  My first job was as a college student, when I worked 230-8pm daily for patient services.  The first thing I did when I got to work was make mashed potatoes from scratch.  I made four different kinds for the various modified diets, first steaming the potatoes and then whipping them in a large hobart mixer that was taller than me!  After making potatoes, I worked the patient trayline, delivered trays to patients, then scrapped and washed the dishes.

 The food was served on china dishes.
 Even the coffee was served in individual carafes.

Whole, unprocessed foods, made from scratch foods comprised the menu.  There were few processed or convenience foods.  We roasted our own meat.  In my last job as the Manager of the Healthy Cafe-in the same kitchen-we went back to those days.  Whole foods with little processing and made from scratch.  We roasted our own meat, including the turkey for the deli line.

Throughout my career I worked as a clinical dietitian, a research dietitian, then in long term care, child nutrition and dining services.  In all of these areas, I valued the cleanliness and appearance of the surroundings.  A pretty setting is so important when it comes to enjoying the food.

In order to serve healthy, we must know two things:  The nutrition facts and the ingredients.

My mentor, Joe Sestito, a local restauranteur, exemplified great customer service.  He loved to interact with customers and tell them how he made the product.  He even autographed his recipes.

My friend and mentor, Martha Nesser, taught me to promote good works.  We learn so much from each other.  That's why I love to see what other RDs are doing, in the state and national associations, as well as on the Nutrition Blog Network.

Pictured above are members of WV AND at Eatright WV Day at the Legislature this February.  Such a talented group of people, all doing great things to improve the health of the people of our state.

Happy RD Day!

To view a history of my work at WVUH, read this article from Inside View.

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