Who: Shelby Pierceall, MS, RDN, LD
What: Registered Dietitian/ Diabetes Educator at the Arkansas Heart Hospital and Owner of Be Daring Nutrition
Where: Conway, AR
When: I graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in May 2014 with a BS in Dietetics/ Nutrition. I completed my MS and DI at the University of Central Arkansas in August 2016. I became a registered dietitian/nutritionist in September 2016.
Why: During my time at Ouachita, my dietetics professors invested so much into me, and from their love and passion for their chosen fields, sparked my interest in my two current careers, diabetes and eating disorders. I saw dietetics as not only a medical career path, which I was interested in, but also as a ministry. My careers center primarily around nutrition counseling, and I see that as an opportunity to meet people where they are, like Jesus does for me. It allows me the opportunity to get down in the trenches with them, to the root of their issues and concerns, and find a way to better manage their health care, while also improving their quality of life. I owe so much of my professional and personal growth to Dr. Detri Brech and Mrs. Stacy Freeman. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of all the student’s lives you have touched over the years, THANK YOU!!
What was your favorite aspect/speaker at FNCE this year? I had two favorites. One was entitled, “Journeys to East Africa: Teaching People with Type 1 Diabetes There, to Help Us Teach Here.” It discussed a group of healthcare professionals and the impact they are making by taking education to rural areas of Africa and providing education to clinics, so they are better equipped to serve and treat the type 1 diabetes population. In areas such as Rwanda, T1 diabetes is a death sentence due to lack of knowledge and supplies. The team individually raises funds to sponsor patients for a year’s worth of medical supplies, such as insulin and testing supplies. When I chose dietetics, one of the few “cons” was that I thought I would never be able to attend a medical mission trips in third world countries using my degrees and professional knowledge, but this seminar proved me wrong and made me think outside the box of ways that I can continue to use my degree to give back.
My other favorite seminar was entitled, “Food as Medicine in Malnutrition and Eating Disorders.” It re-centered my attention on the dire need for healthcare professionals who do what we do. Often times, I feel as though our profession does not receive the respect it deserves, but the approach this RDN took, showed the importance that we as dietitians play in the healthcare setting. Accompanied by a MD, this RD applied practical, scientific knowledge and critical thinking to demonstrate how we, as dietitians, save lives through nutrition and that food truly is medicine.
Why do you think everyone should enjoy the FNCE experience at least once? Every time I attend FNCE, I am reminded why I wanted to be a dietitian and what made me fall in love with this profession. Dietetics is so vast that we can get caught up in our specialized little areas of the world and we too often forget how many opportunities we have available to us as RDN’s. The opportunities are virtually endless, and FNCE exposes me to other areas of nutrition, that I am not as submerged in on a regular basis. Also, the Expo is a foodie’s literal dream come true! My Christmas shopping is done because everyone on my Christmas list is getting oven mitts and wooden kitchen utensils, courtesy of FNCE Expo.