Caregiver Corner- Suzanne Davis

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Position: Clinical Nutrition Manager, Certified Diabetes Educator

Department: Nutritional Services

Years been at NCH: 14

Tell us what your role at NCH entails.

As clinical nutrition manager, I wear many hats within the department, handling a variety of tasks such as inpatient/outpatient concerns and working closely with Katie DeHertogh, RN in cardiac services. I’m also a certified diabetes educator, which has increasingly become a primary focus for me.

How did you first become interested in nutrition?

For me, wellness, fitness and nutrition have been a passion all my life. I realized early on that the healthcare field was really going to be where I forged my professional career. Outside of NCH, I’m also a certified fitness instructor at the Nantucket Health Club, where I’ve taught classes for 21 years (I’m currently teaching Zumba, RIPPED and Booty Barre). I’ve found that in a small community like this, teaching fitness really completes the circle of wellness – both for me personally and the patients I see daily. It also helps everyone I counsel to know that I truly do practice what I preach, which in turn builds great rapport. It’s not unusual for patients who see me at the hospital to then join one of my classes.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love interacting with people and helping each person develop appropriate (and attainable) goals for wellness. Everybody’s different and I truly enjoy helping folks overcome their healthcare challenges. In general, we tend to live in a world that stresses the negative about our bodies and wellness which really defeat people before they even begin to implement a healthy regimen. So my goal is to help patients take a step back and make attainable goals that stick and don’t fade come February first.

What do you love most about living on Nantucket?

 I love our quality of life here. Those of us lucky enough to live on Nantucket have access to some of the healthiest activities in New England if we choose to access them. For example, we don’t have killer commutes, which reduce the stress many feel on the mainland. The pace out here is slower, which certainly makes life easier. Quite simply, we have a beautiful, safe community that affords us spectacular activities at our fingertips.

What are some of your hobbies?

I’m the mother of two children (seven and nine, respectively) so they’re kind of my hobby – both are into sports which means I’m involved with watching them. My daughter is into swimming and dance, while my son plays hockey (and anything else that comes along!). It’s so fun to be at this point with them – we’re always on the go. I think kids today are far too sedentary, so I try to support my kids being active as much as possible. I also love to cook and have been told I’m quite adventurous in the kitchen. I have a huge collection of cookbooks (many from not-so-healthy chefs) and I love trying to substitute or tweak the recipes to reflect more healthy alternatives.

If you could give one piece of advice to Islanders, what would it be?

I would encourage people not to live in the “all or nothing” zone. There’s nothing magical about weight loss – in the end, if you don’t put the time and the effort in, you won’t meet any of your goals, no matter how attainable. Live in the moment of your own personal wellness and be conscientious of what you’re doing. It’s all about what’s realistic. People can choose to harbor anger and depression or make positive changes that will help them feel better about themselves both inside and out. 

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