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South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)

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STVHCS Nutrition and Food Preceptor Award

Left to right, Tamara Sugarek, RD, Pamela Jewell, RD, LNSC, Tom Malone, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, Kristin Morrow, MS, RD, CNSC, Karen Rogers, MS, RD, Joan Ramirez, RD

By Sarah Baker, Office of Public Affairs
Monday, April 21, 2014

South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS), Food and Nutrition Service received the “Favorite Preceptor Award” from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) Dietetic Internship Program.   UIW students voted STVHCS as the overall favorite clinical preceptor site out of all other UIW rotation sites.    

STVHCS Food and Nutrition Service is the first recipient of the “Favorite Preceptor Award”, providing preceptors and internship opportunities to UIW dietetic students for more than 20 years.  Ms. Joan Ramirez, Chief Clinical Dietician attended the coating ceremony at UIW, March 30, 2014, and accepted the award on behalf of STVHCS Food and Nutrition Service. 

During student’s rotation with STVHCS, dietetic interns are provided supervised practice experiences by VA Registered Dietitians in a variety of service lines throughout the hospital. STVHCS preceptors participate in the Dietetic Internship Program with UIW by providing one-on-one mentorship opportunities on a voluntary basis.  UIW and STVHCS have worked together for more than 20 years honoring a mutual commitment to the advancement of the dietetic field. Registered Dietitians from STVHCS typically work with 8-9 students during each track program.  Track programs can be completed part-time covering 25 hours-per-week or full-time covering 40 hours-per-week.  The total hours earned during rotations fulfill requirements for graduation from the UIW Dietetic Internship Program. Preceptors from STVHCS Food and Nutrition Service average about 1700 mentoring hours-per-year providing clinical proficiencies to enhance future generations of Registered Dietitians. Upon completion of the training program, interns are eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Graduates from the program leave prepared to take on entry-level dietetic positions and to better meet the nutritional needs of South Texas.

“I have always felt we should provide the next generation of Dietitians a clinical rotation that is challenging and shows them what it is like to practice at the top of their scope of practice” said Tom Malone, RD, Chief, Nutrition and Food Service.