Dietetic Career Spotlight: Leah Groppo, RD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MAY 9, 2013
Reinforcing the “Preventionist” concept as Dietitians strive towards educating the public to prevent chronic diseases, Leah Groppo works for WIC and does just that. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
When I was in high school, I interned at NASA AMES. During my internship I decided I wanted to create healthy meals for astronauts. It seemed like a challenging and interesting job. However, once I started learning about all the vast possibilities the nutrition field has to offer, I decided to modify my career path to be more focused on public health. I believe one of the main roles of dietitians is to be “Preventionist”. We have the tools to prevent chronic diseases and improve health for all.
Your Job Title?
Primary WIC Program Contact/RD
Company you are with now?
San Benito Health Foundation
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Each day is different. I review and create nutrition classes, ensure we are compliant with our WIC grant, counsel high risk participants, and ensure the staff is current with nutrition recommendations.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I was hired by Nutricopia, a consulting agency for registered dietitians, and assigned to San Benito Health Foundation. . A few months later, I was hired as their full-time dietitian.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I am naturally outgoing and welcoming to strangers, which has enabled me to be successful in dealing with new patients who are more timid or shy. While working as a dietitian, I learned how to translate nutrition science into information that is consumer friendly.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
I would advise others to find a job that utilizes your passions and skills – think about what makes you happy and if it will be a job where you look forward to going to.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food boxes! I love eating what is in season! I enjoy opening my box and getting creative in the kitchen to use all the fresh vegetables and fruits.