A Place to Highlight our present and past Members
If you would like someone to be highlighted, please email SWMMDAPR@gmail.com
By: Erika Ford
I received my B.S. in Dietetics from MSU and did my internship with Morrison-Chartwells in the Metro-Detroit area. After completing and becoming registered, I moved to Kalamazoo for my first job as a clinical RD at Borgess in 2015. It was here that I experienced tremendous growth for myself as an RD with a large credit to my CNM, Takara Page. She always encouraged her dietitians to get involved and grow in whatever areas they had interest.
Part of that included joining SWMDDA to meet the fellow RD community. SWMDDA is a great way to keep up with learning about topics that may not be in your everyday practice, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the variety of topics presented throughout the years.
I earned my CNSC in 2016. I spent the majority of my time doing TPN/EN in the ICU and acute care GI surgery population. I was also able to dabble in outpatient teaching classes and work on quality improvement projects.
In 2018, I made the shift to work remotely from home (say whaaaat? I can work from home as an RD – who would have thought!) for Coram CVS Home Infusion. Here, I specialize in qualifying Medicare patients for enteral nutrition. I complete chart reviews for home tube feeding referrals to evaluate that a patient’s medical record will support enteral nutrition benefits of Medicare. These things could include a patient’s GI impairment, length of need, type of formula, method of administration, and calorie and protein levels. If the medical record is not sufficient, I let those referring the patient know what other documentation is needed to qualify them based on Medicare part B guidelines. Having all this information in place before service begins can help better prepare patients for any out of pocket costs.
My proudest accomplishment thus far in my career is to be published. I had the to opportunity to work on a research project. An abstract was published this year and accepted by ASPEN for Clinical Nutrition Week. In my spare time, I am working on my MS in Sports and Performance Nutrition.
As someone with many interests, I think it’s important to remember you can have as many (or as few) career paths as you want, just never undervalue yourself along the way. This has been my favorite piece of advice given to me so far.