Why did you join MAND?
I joined MDDA as a student. Membership allowed me to meet local dietitians and understand their role in the profession. I took advantage of MDDA’s student scholarship opportunities.
How has membership in MAND been of value to you and your practice?
MDDA membership enables me to network with RDs working in different healthcare settings, which is a great resource. MDDA hosts meetings in a fun, yet professional and educational method. Being the recipient of the
MDDA student scholarship awards led me to serving as a committee member for the Scholarship and Awards Committee, which led to becoming the Chair of the committee.
Tell us about yourself, your job, and what you find most interesting about your job.
I work at Spring Gate Healthcare and Rehab; which is both a rehabilitation center and a LTC facility. What I love about my job is the diversity of the residents. Working with different diagnoses and mental and physical capacities help me stay current with different nutrition therapies. But despite the diversity of my residents, maintaining adequate nutrition and hydration is my goal for all of them. By working closely with an interdisciplinary team, I am able to accomplish this.
Although my days are mostly spent on the clinical side, I also complete sanitation audits in the kitchen and assure meal service goes smoothly. Currently I am the Chair of the “Enhanced Dining Committee,” which has the goal of creating a more restaurant-like atmosphere and improving resident satisfaction.
How did you get into this field?
I like getting to know my patients and being able to follow up with them. Therefore LTC is perfect for me.
Laura Hilliard attended the University of Memphis and earned a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition in 2008. She is now working at Spring Gate Healthcare and Rehabilitation. She remains active with the University of Memphis as a preceptor, a member of the selection committee for the graduate program, and as a presenter to the graduate classes.
Please list a few of your most recent accomplishments.
Board Certification in Gerontological Nutrition (CSG): 2011
Preceptor for University of Memphis graduate students:
MDDA Chair of Scholarship and Awards Committee: 2009
Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition: 2008
Aside from your professional career, what would you like MDDA members to know about you?
I have a niece Lindsey and a nephew Tristan; both residing in Hawaii. They are my whole world!