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Phoebe Sumter nutritionists work to make Sumter area a healthier place

AMERICUS — March is National Nutrition Month and Phoebe Sumter has two Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) who work to make Sumter and surrounding counties a healthier place. Meg Goodin, RDN, LD is the director of Food and Nutrition Services, and Ashley Patterson, RDN, LD, works as a clinical and outpatient dietitian.
Meg Goodin is responsible for operations of the Food and Nutrition Department and RDNs. She works with meal development for patients, visitors and staff as well as a focus on food safety, education and promoting healthy lifestyles within the community. Goodin has experience in clinical dietetics, diabetes education, renal nutrition, and long term care and wellness. Her passion is to make healthy foods look and taste good!
Ashley Patterson works with inpatients needing medical nutrition therapy for education over various diseases and conditions, malnutrition, and tube feeding management. She also plays a key role in the bariatric (weight loss surgery) program to not only educate patients on pre- and post-operative dietary modifications, but also helping them to implement permanent lifestyle and dietary changes. Her passion is to promote her belief in intuitive eating as a successful approach for weight management and better health. She also sees other outpatients for diabetes education and general nutrition education.

What is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)?
Registered dietitian nutritionists are the nation’s food and nutrition experts and are committed to improving the health of their patients and communities. An RDN translates the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living and is an indispensable provider of food and nutrition services. They are committed to helping people enjoy healthy lives and most importantly RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world. The expertise, training and credentials that back a registered dietitian are vital for promoting positive lifestyle choices.
When you need food and nutrition information based on fact or need to know how a healthy diet improves health and fights disease — rely on qualified professionals in the field.
Registered dietitian nutritionists draw on their experience to develop a personalized nutrition plan for individuals of all ages. They are able to separate facts from fads and translate nutritional science into information you can use. A registered dietitian nutritionist can put you on the path to lowering weight, eating healthfully and reducing your risk of chronic disease.
Trust an RDN because these titles can only be used by dietetics practitioners who are currently authorized to use the credentials by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). These are legally protected titles, unlike the plain title “nutritionist” which can mean a number of different things. Individuals with the RDN credentials have completed specific requirements including a minimum of a four-year bachelor of science degree in didactics in a coordinated program or dietetic internship program and the passing of a credentialing exam. The field of dietetics is only growing and the demand is always increasing, so if you know someone who is interested in becoming a RDN the state of Georgia currently has four schools that offer ACEND accredited programs in didactics: The University of Georgia, Georgia Southern, Life University and Georgia State University (also offers a master’s level coordinated program). There are also opportunities for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in other areas; the amount of extra coursework depends on the program being applied to. For more information go to www.eatright.org
If you are curious as to where you can find a registered dietitian nutritionist, they can be found  in hospitals, supermarkets, athletic fields, gyms, research areas, dialysis clinics, long term care facilities, foodservice management, private practice, doctor’s offices, community and public health settings and more.