Today we are featuring Hope Hayes M.Ed, RD, LD! Hope specializes in eating disorders at her practice Nourishing NH, and teaches at Plymouth State University. She was one of Healthy Bytes' first customers, and her patience and dedication to each patient's needs continues to amaze us even today. Join us to learn more about Hope's unique experiences in the nutrition field!
Healthy Bytes: Hi Hope- we're very excited to hear about your experiences! To get us started, can you tell us a little bit about why you became an RD?
Hope Hayes: I became an RD so I could have a healthy and positive impact on people's lives. I have always been interested in science and nutrition, but never knew how much it played a role in my own life until I was in my early 20's. I started in marketing and made a complete life change to move into the field of dietetics when I realized that I could spend the rest of my life melding nutrition and science, and work toward building a seamless relationship between them.
What would you say makes your practice unique?
My practice is the only one north of Concord, NH that specializes in outpatient eating disorder recovery. I have multiple office locations so I am able to work with a vast majority of people in this very rural state.
Wow, by treating these patients, you're really able to offer them resources they have no other way of reaching. Has accepting insurance changed how you interact with your patients?
Accepting insurance allows me to see people much more often because they are not forced to pay out of pocket. Seeing people weekly or even bi-weekly allows for us to work closely to create goals, see change, and work through barriers much more effectively. When people know that they are covered by their insurance, they are relieved and able to really put in the time it takes incorporate life transitions.
We're so glad taking insurance has benefit you so much :) As an experienced dietitian, is there any advice that you would give to future and new RDs?
The best advice I got when I was studying was to pick a focus in the field. The field of dietetics is ever-changing, and by having a focus of interest, you really become a specialist, which is incredibly rewarding.
That's great advice for all of us. Are there any changes that you're excited to see in the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I am forever excited to see the field of eating disorders grow with dietitians. The role of nutrition therapy is so incredibly important for people to recover. This mental health issue will not go away any time soon, so I am thankful to see increased and improved educational opportunities. I am thankful to play a role in treatment but even more excited to see the field grow.
What's the most fascinating thing you’ve learned as an RD?
What fascinates me on a daily basis is the relationship I build with my clients and patients. They share so much of themselves with me and can be so vulnerable. It is inspiring. Their strength, and ability to overcome their challenges in order to improve their nutrition and life, is incredibly encouraging and fascinating!
Parts of this interview have been edited and shortened