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Meet East Valley's Registered Dietitians

March 09, 2016

On this Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, we honor East Valley's two registered dietitians, Joselyn Salas and Stephanie Jacobo, as they work to create healthier eating habits for hundreds of patients each year. 

On Wednesday, March 9, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrated Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, celebrating those individiuals who are committed to improving the health of their patients and community. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.

Meet our Dietitians 

Joselyn Salas

Education
  • Associates degree (AA) in Liberal Arts, Fullerton College, 2008
  • Bachelors of Science (BS) in Foods & Nutrition, Cal Poly Pomona, 2012
  • Certificate of Completion: Estudiante de Dietético Program, Cal Poly Pomona, 2012
  • Completion of Dietetic Internship, 2013
  • Accreditation of Registered Dietitian, 2013
  • Certification of Training in Adult Weight Management

What is your experience in nutrition/as a dietitian?

I worked for Kaiser Permanente as an inpatient clinical dietitian before joining the East Valley Team.

Is there a particular area of nutrition that you consider yourself an expert in?

Weight management and Diabetes counseling 

Why do you believe proper nutrition is such an important part of overall health?

Eating a balanced diet is vital for good health and well-being. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow, and function properly. We need to intake a wide variety of different foods to provide the right amounts of nutrients for good health.

What do you do in a typical day at East Valley?

I see patients for one-on-one counseling, providing medical nutrition therapy for each individual/multiple conditions. Each patient has their own story, motivation, barriers, will power; and all have different results. Regardless of the outcome, knowing that we are spreading knowledge, that some patients follow up with stunning accomplishment s serves as fuel to continue our journey as nutrition professionals. We also teach Diabetes classes both in English and Spanish, we are engaged in worksite wellness, callbacks for our patients, patient referrals from other departments, among many other daily tasks.

What first made you interested in becoming a dietitian?

I was always intrigued by the mechanism that food has since it enters our body until its final outcome.

What is your goal for our patients at East Valley?

My ultimate goal with our patients is to provide them with the tools and skills necessary to be able to use nutrition as their shield against disease which will hopefully lead to optimal health and longevity.

Stephanie Jacobo

Education
  • Double Associates degree (AA) in Social & Behavioral Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Mt. San Antonio College, 2009
  • Certificate of Completion: Pre-Nursing Bridge Program, Mt. San Antonio College, 2009
  • Bachelors of Science (BS) in Foods & Nutrition, Cal Poly Pomona, 2013
  • Certificate of Completion: Estudiante de Dietético Program, Cal Poly Pomona, 2013
  • IN PROGRESS: Master’s of Science (MS) degree in Nutrition Science, Cal Poly Pomona

What is your experience in nutrition/as a dietitian?

I have experience in long term care working with elderly from varying socioeconomic backgrounds and I have experience working with children and adults that have special needs such as down syndrome and genetic disorders, as well as autism.

Is there a particular area of nutrition that you consider yourself an expert in?

I am fine-tuning my knowledge in Diabetes type 2 as I work with an at-risk population every day.  A short-term goal I have is to become a certified diabetes educator (CDE).

Why do you believe proper nutrition is such an important part of overall health?

Balanced eating combined with regular physical activity is vital for overall health and wellbeing because it effects more than just our weight; it plays a role in preventing chronic diseases and effects our mind, soul, and body which ultimately set up the stage for a good (or not so good) quality of life.

What do you do in a typical day at East Valley?

I see patients within minutes of clocking-in! I see patients of all ages (children, adults, and elderly) one-on-one in my office where I am able to assess their nutritional status and work with the patient to come up with practical goals that the patient sets up so they can meet their personal goals. We see many Spanish and English speaking patients. My suggestions and nutrition recommendations are one thing, but having patients own their very own, unique path to good health is another and, here at East Valley, we aim to place the patient in the center so that everything we discuss and explain revolves around their priorities and ambitions, not ours. We work towards providing patient-centered care every day.

What first made you interested in becoming a dietitian?

I struggled with weight my whole childhood and adolescent years. When I was 12 years old my pediatrician told my mother and I that I was 40 pounds overweight and this scared me and embarrassed me. My sedentary nature and overeating habits were apparent to me and I wanted to change.  When I turned 13 years old, I began working out to my mom’s Denise Austin aerobics videos (“Abs of Steel”) every day after school. My goal was to lose the weight. The workout video was 15 minutes long but I was not able to complete all of the exercises at first. Within weeks, I was able to keep up with the video and I gained confidence, I was proud of myself. I noticed changes in my body and I was excited. I then started to notice my choices in snacks and the portion sizes of foods I ate and I realized that I could make dietary changes too. I stopped drinking soda that year (and have been soda-free ever since!). My mom was very supportive and by the time I turned 16, I had become a high school tri-athlete in cross country, soccer, and track. I had lost the 40 pounds and my pediatrician was pleased and so was I! Since then I have experienced maintenance and weight re-gain due to schedule changes and life transitions. This inspired me to one day help others; I understand on many levels what people go through with food and weight and I enjoy helping my patients, and seeing them meet their own goals. I learn from patients all of the time and they inspire me to be my best.

What is your goal for our patients at East Valley?

My goal for my East Valley patients is for each and every one of them to meet their personal desires and ambitions in regards to their health. They all have the potential to be great, they may just need a little nudge and inspiration. Sometimes I see patients every 4- 6 weeks and they do well, and others need to be seen every 2-3 weeks for constant motivation and they exceed greatly. I enjoy serving my patients and am rewarded daily when I see smiles on patients faces that did not exist before and physical body manifestations of what is changing internally with cholesterol, sugar, and blood pressure levels. It is amazing to work here!

Is there any additional information you would like patients to know?

I am currently studying to get certified as a personal trainer so I can properly advise my patients on exercises specific for them and their personal goals. I also like to lead exercise sessions for employees here at work as it builds a sense of community within departments and ultimately for East Valley.