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Celebrating Women’s College Hospital’s dietitians

March 10, 2014

In celebration of Nutrition Month in March and National Dietitian’s Day on March 19, Women’s College Hospital’s dietitians are promoting awareness about what they do and the services available to WCH patients.

Registered dietitians help patients understand the role of food and diet in relation to health and the prevention and management of illnesses and diseases. By combining the science of nutrition along with a person’s specific health concerns, dietitians can formulate nutritional care plans and therapeutic diets.

“As dietitians, we want people to understand the importance of healthy and nutritional eating. We don’t want to put people on diets, which is a common misconception,” said Behnaz Abedi, registered dietitian, practice advisor for clinical nutrition and certified diabetes educator, WCH. “We want to help patients enhance what they are already doing well, and help them understand how to eat for their age and health stage.”

Registered dietitians undergo thorough training and are required to complete an internship and pass the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE), before registering under the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Once registered, they can work clinically with patients and provide assistance with several food and health-related topics. These topics can include healthy eating on a budget, understanding popular health trends such as cleanses and supplements, and understanding the relationship between certain foods and medications.

Typically, dietitian services are not covered by OHIP. However, WCH patients have access to dietitian services for free through several programs and clinics including cardiology, osteoporosis and endocrinology as well as through the Family Practice Health Centre. Upon receiving a referral, patients can attend individual or group counselling services.

WCH’s dietitians are also involved in other hospital programs and initiatives. Currently, the dietitian intern, in conjunction with the rest of the team, has been working on healthy recipes for www.myhealthmatters.ca, an online resource for health information created for women by the experts at WCH.

“We really encourage WCH patients to speak to their healthcare providers about gaining access to dietitian services. We are here, we are a resource for WCH patients and are able to work with patients with a variety of concerns,” said Nicole Bourgeois, registered dietitian, heath promoter, WCH.

WCH Registered Dietitians
WCH Registered Dietitians (from left): Clare Andersons, Helen Emanoilidis, Behnaz Abedi, Nicole Bourgeois and Janis Rusen
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