By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, September 2019
When Deb Moore, R.D., L.M.N.T, started college, she had no intention of pursuing a career in health care.
One nutrition class changed her mind.
“I was required to take a class in nutrition and really enjoyed it as I have always enjoyed working with food, along with learning the impact of nutrients on the human body,” Moore said.
After that class, Moore would go on to get a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and food service management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She also completed a dietetic internship at UNL before joining CCH in July 1987 as an outpatient dietitian.
Over the next 25 years, Moore worked as an outpatient dietitian and then CCH’s clinical dietitian, before becoming CCH’s director of Nutrition Services in 2013.
“The director position came open in the department and thought it was time for a change,” she said. “The desire of working directly with food never really went away, though I miss working directly with patients.”
As director of Nutrition Services, Moore is in charge of a department that served more than 158,000 meals last year alone.
In her position as director, she makes sure the standards of operations for the Nutrition Services department are met.
For example, she ensures proper sanitation within the department, reviews patient and retail menus, manages catering and Meals on Wheels, and oversees the ordering of food or new products for the department.
Moore’s work also requires her to review cafeteria transactions and food waste, plan upcoming events, attend daily huddles on sanitation and food safety, do product reviews, and discuss patient or customer concerns.
“No one day is ever typical, as situations may arise that require your attention. This makes the job interesting and rewarding,” she said.
The variety that Moore sees in her work is a variety she has noticed in the health care field as a whole.
“Health care is a continuing evolution. Procedures, medications, etc., are changing all the time and for the better,” she said.
To keep up with these changes, Moore does continuing education. She said CCH has supported her in this, and also supported her by providing resources to the department as needed, assisting with unfamiliar circumstances and letting staff in the department do their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Moore enjoys this about her work and she also appreciates the fact that her position allows her to connect with, and benefit, patients.
“The connections you make with patients and how grateful they are for the smallest of things, is rewarding and I’m unsure if you find this in many other professions,” she said.
In the end, though Moore may not have intended to go into the health care, she’s glad that’s where she ended up – all thanks to that one class in nutrition.
For more information on Moore and CCH’ Nutrition Services Department, visit http://www.columbushosp.org.