The Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has named Kaitlin Harrison, RD, LD the 2014 Kentucky Young Dietitian of the Year. Harrison serves as the clinical dietitian and Director of Nutrition Services at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield.
Harrison became actively involved in nutrition promotion when her co-sponsored grant proposal was approved for a childhood obesity intervention program in Grayson County. Harrison teams with the physical therapy department at TLRMC to provide the “Fit 4 Fun” Program, which is a Passport-funded program for children above the 95th percentile BMI-for-age that provides routine nutrition education and exercise training. She has been involved in conducting research through the “Fit 4 Fun” program that investigates the correlation between elevated BMI in children and their parent’s biometric measurements.
“I am completely humbled to receive this award from the Academy,” said Harrison. “My motivation to continue to provide nutrition education to my patients and to the community has accelerated following this recognition. I’m so thankful for the nomination and being chosen to represent our state as the Young Dietitian of the Year.”
During her two-and-a-half-year career at TLRMC, Harrison has implemented a room service dining program for the inpatient population. She also created a standardized Coumadin policy that provides nutrition education on a low vitamin K diet for all patients taking the medication. Harrison also co-sponsors a “Biggest Loser” program to the employees at TLRMC where she provides individual nutrition education for participants. She also provides weekly newsletters and monthly nutrition lectures to the participants in conjunction with the TLRMC Physical Therapy department.
“Kaitlin exemplifies the type of talented, young managers that we are fortunate to have as part of our leadership team at TLRMC,” said Wayne Meriwether, MHA, CEO at TLRMC. “As someone who works closely with our patients and community educating them on their personal nutrition needs, Kaitlin is well deserving of being named Young Dietitian of the Year.”
Harrison is active on the wellness team committee, the Population Health Partnership Committee, the 21st century grant program at H.W. Wilkey Elementary School and is the leader of the cafeteria satisfaction committee at TLRMC. Her specific involvement with the Population Health Partnership Committee includes efforts to aggressively push legislation to ban smoking in all public facilities and incorporate the MyPlate campaign in local businesses. She regularly provides nutrition education at community wide health fairs and promotes the dietetics career at school functions in the Grayson and Butler County School Systems.
Harrison is currently precepting for her first dietetic intern through Western Kentucky University. Precepting falls between teaching and mentoring. Preceptors model new skills, observe and help with these skills and evaluate how well the intern is accomplishing these skills.
Harrison received a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics with High Distinction from Western Kentucky University in 2009 and completed her Dietetic Internship through Utah State University to become a Registered Dietitian. She is currently working towards her Masters in Business Administration.
Harrison resides in Morgantown, Kentucky with her husband, Marcus, and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Georgia Grace. Kaitlin Harrison and her family were recently featured on a billboard advertisement for the TLRMC OB-GYN Department.