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Nutrition Services Takes a Bite Out of Many Illnesses

Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Nutrition Services focuses on the nutrition needs of children and adults in our hospital and in our community. We are nutrition experts who work closely with the doctors and other members of the interdisciplinary team for the health of our patients and are advocates for healthy eating and lifestyle modification.

Our staff is made up of 5 registered dietitians who cover both inpatient and outpatient areas. The role of the inpatient registered dietitians is to oversee the nutrition needs of patients who are hospitalized. We devise a nutrition care plan for our patients with a variety of illnesses, help prevent or correct malnutrition, and provide education on appropriate diets for patients’ disease states which may include diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal illnesses, kidney disease, or cancer. Family members or caregivers are always included in the education process whenever possible. For the critically ill patient or those unable to take oral nutrition, we assist the medical team in providing adequate alternate nutrition (tube feedings or IV nutrition). We are also involved in many of the hospital’s interdisciplinary teams such as diabetes, cardiovascular, Palliative Care, and Infection Control.

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is provided by our outpatient dietitians. MNT has been proven effective in treating and controlling heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and other medical conditions. We provide each patient with a personalized nutrition plan to help treat their specific medical problems. Nutrition counseling is available at both the Downtown and Main Campuses. Our outpatient dietitians also attend local health fairs and speak in the community at various events. We plan to offer more nutrition related classes and support groups in the near future so be sure to check the hospital’s website and Facebook page for more information.

Nicole Rhoads, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian If you are interested in individual outpatient nutrition counseling, contact Nicole at 610-378-2489 or NRhoads@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or schedule an appointment at 610-378-2100.

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