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North Oaks Health System’s Dietetic Internship Program Graduates 29th Class

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  • Written By: Melanie Lanaux Zaffuto
North Oaks Health System’s Dietetic Internship Program Graduates 29th Class

North Oaks Health System’s Dietetic Internship faculty and staff honored nine graduates for completing the program June 16. Chief Human Resources Officer Jeff Jarreau presided over the commencement ceremonies, which were held at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center on the North Oaks Medical Center campus.

Graduates, pictured above from left, include: Madison Guidry, Carolyn Reed, Kathleen Bachman, Brooke McVey, Eleanor Spiller, Peyton Mercola, Madison Loewe, Miriam Lopez and Drake Fontenot.

Two graduates received awards this year.

Brooke McVey received the Mary Nelson Award that is given by program faculty in recognition of eagerness to learn, dedication to the profession and high professional standards.

Kathleen Bachman was selected by her peers to receive the Dannye Young Taylor “Always Remembering Others” Award in recognition of selfless assistance of others. Now retired, Taylor was a longtime patient representative for North Oaks Health System. The award was created in her honor by her husband, Dr. Rodney Taylor.

Bachman also was recognized with the Carol Bertrand Award for Excellence. The award was created in memory of the late Bertrand, who was a registered dietitian, grassroots advocate for the dietetics profession and graduate of North Oaks’ second Dietetic Internship class. Faculty selected Bachman for her essay on the potential of registered dietitians taking a role in public policy related to medical nutrition therapy.

Ann McDaniel-Hall served as guest speaker. A registered dietitian and North Oaks’ former Nutritional Services Director, McDaniel-Hall retired in February 2022 from the health system following 44 years of service.

In her remarks, she stressed the importance of first jobs to the success of overall careers.

“Your first job establishes the foundation of your career, so set your work standards high, maintain a positive attitude and be grateful for the opportunity to learn all you can from those around you – including what not to do,” McDaniel-Hall advised. “Be a team player, solution-driven and strive to make a contribution every day.”

Diplomas were conferred by North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program Director Leslie Ballard.

Since 1994, the North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program has offered qualified individuals a unique opportunity to attain eligibility for the Registration Examination for Dietitians through one year of supervised experience.