I am a registered dietitian who specializes in treating children with pulmonary and sleep disorders. I work with patients and families to find a healthy lifestyle geared towards meeting their specific goals.
I’ve always had an interest in food and how our bodies use food as fuel, which made me decide to study nutrition and dietetics. Studying at the University of Cincinnati was also a natural choice since their Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics was ranked number four in the nation and the school was located just under two hours from my hometown in the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio.
I graduated with my bachelor’s degree and completed the Coordinated Program of Dietetics in 2018. This program included 1200-plus hours of supervised practice, with more than 500 hours spent at Cincinnati Children’s. Having the opportunity to be a dietetic intern at this organization was just the beginning. After experiencing over six specialties at Cincinnati Children’s, I was offered a job within the Nutrition Therapy Department to build a position that would serve the pulmonary and sleep clinics.
When I care for my patients, I always try to see the big picture. When developing a nutrition plan, I consider the child's medical diagnoses and family routines. Then, I provide the necessary education while working with patients and families to find a plan that works best for their child. Whether I recommend that a child gains weight, maintains weight or loses weight, we have educational materials and specialized counseling to help them reach their goals.
Within the pulmonary department, I most often treat children diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), asthma or narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which people feel very sleepy during the day and may even fall asleep unexpectedly.
In addition to surgical options and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), weight loss can help improve and, at times, even cure OSA. Weight loss can also benefit those affected by difficult-to-treat asthma. Aside from achieving healthy weight trends, optimizing nutrition can also improve results from medications. Examples include steroids, frequently used in the asthmatic population, and stimulants for those with narcolepsy.
Patients see me during a visit with their pulmonologist or in our Pulmonary Nutrition Clinic. Depending on the location, some patients may also be eligible for telemedicine appointments. Contact your pulmonary team or Cincinnati Children’s Scheduling Center to request a Nutrition Clinic appointment. Research has shown that more frequent follow-up with a dietitian results in the most nutrition-related success.
I continue my endeavors within the field of nutrition by working to obtain my Master of Science in Nutrition at the University of Cincinnati. In the area of research, I’m helping researchers at Cincinnati Children’s analyze previous cardiovascular-related data and diving further into findings from the National Growth and Health Study. I’m highly involved in our local Greater Cincinnati Dietetic Association, where I serve on the board. This position provides me multiple learning opportunities and occasions to give back to the community.
Outside of the hospital, I enjoy spending time outdoors and with my furry friends, Phoebe and Cooper. When I need downtime, I may be found by a river, lake or ocean, or in my craft room. I never miss an opportunity to travel, explore and, of course, try new foods!