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Mission Moment, Syvil Manoah, MPH, CHES, RDN

Published on Wednesday February 7, 2024

I’m humbled to have represented Centra’s Nutrition Services for over a year while overseeing dieticians at Virginia Baptist Hospital (VBH), Bedford Memorial Hospital (BHM), Southside Community Hospital (SCH) and Lynchburg General Hospital (LGH). With patients coming to our facilities with medical ailments that range from chronic to severe, they all need Medical Nutrition Therapy to aid their health as they leave our care.

Each patient’s particular case is addressed in a two-pronged approach which includes comprehensive information gathering for an assessment and individual consultation between patient and dietitian. Why a two-pronged approach? The dietitian gathering all pertinent information from doctors, nurses, and the patient’s family allows us to develop a comprehensive plan while working directly with the patient provides us with the opportunity to individually tailor their Medical Nutrition Therapy. This means they don’t have to rely on random internet searches or the casual conversation with neighbors, and ultimately, this method helps us make the best care plan and fully understand each patient.

There are sometimes unusual instances where engaging with a patient proves to be difficult, be it their personality or the severity of medication side effects, but it’s at these times that I often remember my promise to carry out Centra’s mission of “improving the health and quality of life for the communities we serve.”

I have sought to execute this mission beyond the walls of Centra by participating in various community activities through presentations, health fairs and cancer awareness events. I believe our communities are empowered when they are provided with nutrition information and knowledge as a way of improving their health and quality of life. This philosophy is summed up well by the ancient Ayurvedic proverb which says, “Without proper diet, medicine is of no use. With proper diet, medicine is of no need.”