Beebe Medical Center has announced that Kim Westcott, MS, RD, LDN, CSO, has earned her recertification as a board certified specialist in Oncology Nutrition, a designation she has held for five years.
In 2008, Westcott was the first registered dietitian in Delaware to pass the inaugural Oncology Board Specialty certification exam offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Today, she remains the only registered dietitian in Sussex County with this specialized certification, and one of four registered dietitians in the state of Delaware.
“We are proud to offer individualized nutritional expertise to our patients at Tunnell Cancer Center,” says Cherrie Rich, RN, executive director of Oncology Services at Beebe Medical Center. “Kim’s experience and expertise allow us to focus on their overall health as we treat their illness. This expertise is part of our holistic approach to cancer care.”
The academy’s Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group provides these certified dietetic professionals with resources and networking opportunities to deal with the complexities of oncology practice. Cancer patients have unique nutritional demands. Not only does the disease itself impact the body, but chemotherapy and radiation also cause side effects that lead to malnutrition.
“Our goal is to help patients maintain good nutrition so that they can tolerate treatments, fight infection and heal faster,” Westcott says. “More and more survivors are living longer, and nutrition plays a very important part in their lives. It also helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes.”
Westcott works closely with patients at Tunnell Cancer Center, as well as at Beebe Medical Center. She has been a registered dietitian at Beebe Medical Center since September 1993, working in a variety of positions supporting the nutritional needs of customers in the school-based wellness centers, outpatient facilities, in-patients and those attending community events. In fall 2002, Westcott started working with patients four days a week at the Tunnell Cancer Center. She also has a master of science degree in health education.
“We congratulate and continue to be proud of Kim for not only earning this certification, but for her continuous efforts to improve the quality of nutritional care we offer our patients and community at Beebe Medical Center,” says Kathi Fryling, RD, director of Support Services.
Beebe Medical Center established Tunnell Cancer Center in 1995. It has received the Commission on Cancer's highest accreditation with commendation as a comprehensive community cancer center. Its clinical specialties are medical oncology/hematology and radiation oncology. It also offers a multidisciplinary approach for planning all cancer treatment. Nearly 300 patients visit the center each day.
Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness and restore optimal health with the people residing, working or visiting in the communities it serves. For more information, go to www.beebemed.org.