By Rhonda Smyth, CV&T news editor
A passion for food and healthly living led Laura Ashley Dennis to become a registered dietician. Now she can put her knowledge to work helping Estill County get healthy.
She recently accepted a position at Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital where she began providing inpatient clinical nutrition care and outpatient nutrition counseling. She began work in early October using her education to care for the nutritional needs of patients from birth to life’s end stages.
Laura Ashley’s quick smile and caring attitude is evident as she explained what her duties are.
“I will be assessing hospital patients to make proper nutrition recommendations to fit their individual diagnoses,” she said. “I will monitor weights and lab work and work with the doctors and nurses.’
She will also provide nutrition counseling to patients of any doctor in Estill or surrounding counties.
“I have already been contacted by the White House Clinic and a Madison County doctor,”
Laura Ashley has begun developing an employee wellness program for the hospital and she plans to have a community wellness program in place soon. She is also working toward becoming a certified diabetes educator which takes 1,000 hours of further education.
Laura Ashley is a graduate of Estill County High School and Eastern Kentucky University.
She has worked at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, the Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Central Baptist Hospital. She passed her state board certification examination in July.
The daughter of Rodney and Phyllis Dennis, Laura Ashley decided very young what she wanted to be.
“I went to the guidance office at Estill High and discovered that this career mixes all my loves together,” she said. “I never once changed my mind,” she said.
Laura Ashley loves to cook and doesn’t consider it a chore. Eating healthy foods and living a healthly lifestyle, she sets a good example for her patients.
“I admire Laura for her desire to return to Estill County. Her education and expertise will allow Marcum and Wallace Memorial Hospital (MWMH) to expand our scope for dietetic services,” MWMH CEO Susan Starling remarked, “These services will not be limited to inpatient but will include education and wellness for the community. She will be a huge asset to MWMH.”