Over 35 years ago I started my career in nutrition, and from the very beginning had issues with the way we dietitians were trained to educate people regarding weight management. I had a passion for promoting health and preventing disease, but also a belief that mental health was equally important. Over the years my focus has shifted to helping people prevent eating disorders and weight issues through a health-focused verses weight-focused approach to eating and weight management. I spent many years working with individuals with disordered eating and was privileged to work with some of the best psychologists and specialists in the field. It was from this experience that my passion to do what ever I could to prevent eating disorders was fueled.
I went on to work for 8 years at a children’s hospital specifically with childhood obesity. Again, this experience taught me that we have a lot to learn and that children and teens are suffering, and unfortunately, developing body image issues, eating disorders, and other weight issues because of our ignorance. It is my goal to do whatever I can to enlighten parents and others as far as healthier and more appropriate approaches to promote health. I currently am still working at the children’s hospital on a special “Feeding Team” where we help children with feeding and eating issues. I also consult at a college by providing individual nutrition counseling, as well as at a school for children with special needs, many of whom have issues with weight.
On the lighter side, I am Italian and love cooking and entertaining. I am not a “health nut” however I do prefer whole foods and making my own not just because it is better for you, but because it tastes better when it is fresh (if you ask me, my husband does not care and still brings home tater tots….). I love being outdoors, am not an expert gardener, but passionate about it (especially my herb garden), love kayaking, camping (preferably near a lake and bike trail), biking, hiking, walking, dancing and being with family and friends.
I am including a short resume so you can feel more confident that when I post something, it will be accurate,based on research (evidenced based). I will also incorporate what I have learned from my experiences with the people I have worked with over the years (the true experts!). Thank you for visiting!
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Fall 2002-Spring 2004
Completed 20 graduate level credits in Nutritional Sciences with a focus on Health Promotion.
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT July 1997
Completed the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certification workshop and examination for Health Fitness Instructor (HFI).
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT May 1996
MS in Allied Health Education
Thesis Title: “The Effect of Nutrition Counseling on College Women Who Are Restrained Eaters: Drive for Thinness, Body Dissatisfaction and Dietary Restraint”
Presented results of the study at the CDA Annual Meeting in May, 1996.
Elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville, TN August 1974-June 1979
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT May 1978
BS in Nutritional Sciences, Graduated Magna Cum Laude, elected to Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Presented to Connecticut State Women Infant and Children’s Program (WIC) regarding the use of Motivational Interviewing in the WIC Programs across the state (December 12, 2014).
Article: “Motivational Interviewing: The Challenge of Developing Skills and Evaluating Competency in Dietitians in Pediatric Practice”, published in ICAN (Infant, Child and Adolescent Nutrition), Volume 3, Number 1, 2011.
First Place Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Dynamic Initiative in Dietetics Practice and Education. Title: “Incorporating Motivational Interviewing (MI) Training in a Health Care Setting” (2011).
Article: “Restrained Eaters Rigidly Control Food Intake”, published in Healthy Weight Journal, Volume 11, Number 3, May/June 1997.
Shape Magazine (March 1998): contributed to an article on diet obsession.
Elmcrest Hospital (1998): presented to mental health professionals on the topic of appropriate interventions for patients with eating issues.
Penn State University (June, 1997): presented at the Third Annual Conference on Eating Disorder Prevention
San Antonio, Texas (October, 1996): presented thesis research results at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire (October, 1996): presented research results on restrained eating at the New England College Health Association (NECHA).
Outpatient Dietitian, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center July 2007-Present
Provided individual counseling to a pediatric population on issues such as weight management, eating disorders, PCOS, hyperlipidemia, etc. Helped develop weight management program for teens, and led initiative to train the Nutrition staff in Motivational Interviewing. Presently working with the Feeding Team (a multidisciplinary team responsible for assessing and treating children with feeding issues).
Maine and Weinstein Specialty Group (West Hartford, CT) April 2000-August 2009
Worked under the supervision of psychologists who are eating disorder specialists; responsible for the nutritional assessment and intervention of eating disordered patients as well as binge eaters; presented on the topic of eating disorders at various schools in CT while working for Maine and Weinstein Specialty Group.
University of Connecticut Health Promotion Program at Pratt and Whitney (East Hartford, CT)
July 2002-June 2004
As part of a graduate assistantship worked the first year (2002-2003) as Nutrition Specialist; developed a “non-diet” weight management website intervention; published nutrition articles for United Technology Health and Wellness Magazine “Alive”; developed and conducted weight management and other nutrition related programs for employees. The second year (2003-2004) functioned as Health Promotion Team Coordinator; trained and supervised 5 graduate students; coordinated flu shot clinics, health screenings (servicing over 1,000 employees), health fairs, and health education presentations. Responsible for utilizing a $25,000 grant for health screenings with data collection to be used for research in the area of health promotion.
Institute of Living (Hartford, CT) August 1996-2002
Per diem nutritionist to conduct group program for outpatients with eating disorders, as well as individual counseling.
Elmcrest Hospital/St. Francis Care (Portland, CT) August 1998-December 1999
Functioned as nutritionist in the Eating Disorders Adult Partial Program; responsible for assessments, individual counseling and conducting groups.
Health Training Resources 1997-1999
Worked with Dr. Priscilla Douglas, Polly Fitz and Dr. Meg Gaughen to launch their new business providing continuing education to RD’s. Developed and conducted a 6 hour workshop on appropriate interventions for individuals with weight issues and restrained eating; conducted workshops at various locations in the New England area.
University of Connecticut Health Services Dietitian August 1994-June 1996
Worked as a nutritionist servicing a college population; responsible for counseling students with eating disorders and other eating issues; presented to coaches and athletes on sports nutrition.
Past Work Experience 1980-1993
Worked in corporate wellness (Plainville, CT, YMCA); WIC Nutritionist (Torrington, CT); Headstart Nutritionist (New Britain, CT); American Heart Association (volunteer).