Registered Dietitian Career Spotlight: Susan Robbins, MA, RD, LD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on MARCH 27, 2013
Interested in designing the menus for children who eat school breakfast and lunch? Susan Robbins develops menus for children at Children’s Home Society. Here’s her journey. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
My passion to learn more about food and health is what attracted me to the field of nutrition and dietetics.
Your Job Title?
Dietitian for Children’s Home Society of West Virginia
Company you are with now?
Children’s Home Society of West Virginia
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
I write seasonal menus for the 10 residential sites for Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, so my day to day work life is not a typical one. This year’s meal pattern requirements changed for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. As a result of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), an additional six (6) cents per lunch meal reimbursement, designed to assist the school food authorities (SFAs) in meeting the updated meal patterns, would be provided to SFAs certified by the State agency that demonstrated compliance with the new meal pattern requirements. Documentation requirements demonstrating compliance with the new updated meal patterns were submitted to our State agency for review. Documents included sample menus and worksheets for Breakfast and Lunch, and a Simplified Nutrient Assessment for a week’s worth of lunch meals for Grades 6-8 and 9-12. The process was a lengthy one, and I am pleased to report that through a collaborative effort, Children’s Home Society of WV was granted certification. This learning experience was an incredibly fulfilling one for me, since providing “healthier” meals has been an ongoing passion of mine.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
A dietitian at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition contacted me in 2001 and asked if I might be interested in working with Children’s Home Society. My journey with Children’s Home Society of West Virginia began then. I had been working in Hospitals and Long Term Care facilities at the time, and this opportunity presented me with yet another new and exciting challenge.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I grew up in a home surrounded by very hard working parents and have exhibited that work ethic throughout my career. I am personable, flexible, detail-oriented, and love to learn and communicate my newfound knowledge with others verbally or via the computer.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Work hard, and learn from every opportunity. Stay current and challenged. Welcome change and keep a balance between your personal and professional life.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Knowing you are making a difference, receiving a word of thanks and personal satisfaction.