Tag Archives: dietician

What’s For Dinner?

Malinda Swank, CDM, CFPP (left) and Katie Routh, RD, LD are proud of the restaurant-quality food served at RCH

Ringgold County Hospital patients now can choose what’s for dinner, and lunch, and breakfast! With a new “Room Service” approach to meals, patients can order from a menu, and their selections are delivered to them, just like in a first-class hotel. Dietitian Katie Routh explained that before this change, people in the hospital and their visiting family members were served a pre-planned menu each day and their meals were delivered at a set time. “Now we have a “restaurant” menu. They can choose what they want, and what time they want it delivered.”

The menus were created by the dietary staff in-house. They started from scratch with traditional favorites like roast beef and meat loaf. They added more exotic options like chicken Alfredo and baked salmon while still keeping all the meals as healthy as possible. “Some things are not allowed on cardiac diets or renal diets,” said Katie. “We keep diabetic diets low in carbohydrates. In the process of patients making choices, we’re helping them manage what they eat.”

Implementing the new approach has taken a team effort. The hospital’s dietary, nursing, and medical staff all work together to ensure it runs smoothly. “The timing of meal deliveries needs to be coordinated with medication timing, for example,” said Katie. There’s a significant upside for RCH patients. “It’s one of the few things they can control while they’re hospitalized. People want to feel that they have choices,” she added. Another, perhaps unintended benefit is the amount of food that is no longer wasted.

Katie and her team are getting really good feedback. “We’ve asked patients what they think, and we’re using the suggestions we get. We’re constantly reviewing the menus, tweaking recipes and planning future menu changes. It’s kind of fun!” Patients are weighing in and loving the new approach. “I had to stay for a while at the hospital and I enjoyed the new room service menu!” said a recent patient. “I had something different every day. It was cool to see that I had many choices to choose from on my diet plan. You could order anything at any time of the day.” One lesson learned is that people staying in the hospital want comfort food to make them feel better. The top two most requested menu items are roast beef and meat loaf.

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Knowledge is power!

Katie RouthRinggold County Hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic are here for you when you’re sick, injured, and in need of quality health care. We’re also here for you when you’re not sick! We are your source for healthy living information and your partner in good health.

Katie Routh is happy to be back to her hometown of Mt. Ayr. A registered dietician, she works with Ringgold County Hospital patients both in and out of the hospital. While they’re in the hospital, she assesses their nutritional states and ensures that the food they’re eating is appropriate and assisting in their recovery. She takes a holistic view of her patients and recognizes that nutrition is an important part of the healing process. Her services are also available to outpatients and she works regularly with diabetics and those wanting to lose weight. “I enjoy helping people overcome their struggles,” she said. “It’s great being able to teach and show people that it’s possible.”

Health-CoachLeslie Dredge-Murphy is also helping Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic patients meet their healthy living goals. Her services are free to clinic patients and together they work to define individual success. Whether it’s weight loss, disease management, increased exercise capabilities, even quitting smoking, she is a coach and partner to help each patient meet their goals. “It’s all driven by our patients,” she said. “We can work on anything that’s holding them back from living a healthy life. We’re really promoting preventive care. It’s important to encourage healthier lifestyles.”

Walking is the easiest form of exercise to stay fit. It’s convenient because it can be done almost anywhere and anytime, whether you’re walking to class or down the street. In comparison to other exercise methods, walking puts less strain on the lower back and creates less stress on your joints such as your hips, knees, and ankles. Because it doesn’t require expensive equipment, walking is available to everyone. You can use your walking time as a social event and catch up with friends and family members. Along with physical benefits, walking can improve your mood, relieve stress, and alleviate depression.

Physical benefits of walking:

  • Aids in weight loss; burns body fat
  • Strengthens bones; reduces risks of bone fracture and lessens severity of osteoporosis
  • Strengthens heart and improves efficiency
  • Improves overall fitness
  • Lowers blood pressure; reduces cholesterol levels
  • Improves efficiency of lungs
  • Raises metabolism even while you rest
  • Helps control appetite
  • Increases energy

So don’t wait, get marching!

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