Kaitlyn Daff

Youngstown State University
2019

“The Scholars in Aging program itself has been a true honor to be involved in. The intelligence of not only the ODA staff and featured presenters I met throughout the program, but also in my fellow Scholars has inspired me to continue my work within the field to promote the health and well-being of older adults.”

Throughout my academic career, I always have had a passion to serve older adults. In completing my BSAS degree in 2017 and obtaining my Registered Dietitian Credential that same year, I knew that I still had more to learn about how to properly provide nutrition services to older adults. Not only did I take a job working in an acute-care hospital, but I also decided that working toward obtaining a Master’s Degree in Gerontology would be beneficial to allow to me to explore service delivery to older adults in depth. When given the opportunity to complete an internship experience, I came to my Regional Clinical Nutrition Manager and proposed that I work under her for a semester and not only learn how to manage a team of 20 dietitians, but also take some time around the hospital to explore areas in which we would implement new nutrition initiatives that could enhance the nutrition care provided to older adults beyond what other hospitals usually provide.

Throughout my experience I feel very proud of an older adult orthopedic nutrition initiative that we have been able to implement across the region, where all older adults admitted with a fracture of a hip, pelvis, or femur go home with a packet of information helping guide them through the importance of nutrition for healing after an injury. Also packaged in the initiative is the enhancement of outpatient nutrition information provided to planned total joint replacement patients. Now, after the start of the initiative, any total joint patient admitted to a hospital in the region has the opportunity to speak with a
Registered Dietitian directly and leave their outpatient joint classes with an elevated understanding of how nutrition impacts recovery after their planned surgery. Overall, I am thankful for the time I was able to spend on implementing new programs around the region and look forward to where these valuable experiences will lead me in the future of my career.

The Scholars in Aging program itself has been a true honor to be involved in. The intelligence of not only the ODA staff and featured presenters I met throughout the program, but also in my fellow Scholars has inspired me to continue my work within the field to promote the health and well-being of older adults.