Blue Ridge Bucket List
August 25, 2016
On the road with JillAnn Chaney, RD
By Heidi Williams, Recruiter
JillAnn Chaney is a master of bucket lists. In addition to being a wonderful dietitian for a facility that needed her, JillAnn checked off more than 20 regional hot spots while completing a 13-week assignment for Dietitians on Demand in Lynchburg, Va.
“I wanted to experience every bit of being on this assignment,” she said. JillAnn has always been on the move. She grew up in Texas and Kansas, then married a man in the Navy. When he got stationed in West Virginia, JillAnn quickly found there weren’t many dietitian jobs nearby.
She was commuting for a while, but after a car accident during her commute she decided to look for a job with a more permanent location. Along came Dietitians on Demand with a great opportunity in Lynchburg, Va., that wasn’t too far from her husband.
JillAnn rarely went back to West Virginia on the weekends. Instead, her husband traveled to her and they explored Lynchburg and its surrounding communities. They visited Monticello in Charlottesville, went to the Starry Nights Wine Festival in Afton, met the mayor in Gretna at the Strawberry and Wine festival, toured the D-Day Memorial and The Wharton Memorial Garden in Bedford, explored Smith Mountain Lake and walked under Natural Bridge.
Every night during the week she walked eight miles on the Blackwater Creek Trail, a winding 12-mile rails to trails venture through Lynchburg, often with a coworker from the hospital.
“The people I worked with were so welcoming,” JillAnn said. “They adopted me!”
“She just fit in so well from day number one with all of the staff, which can be a challenge with seven women,” said the client, Ida Proco, RD. “She was a quick learner and was a great help.”
JillAnn contributed greatly to the needs at the hospital and had meaningful interactions with patients daily.
“I had a middle aged woman who triggered for dietitian consult, probably for decreased appetite on admission. Reading her chart, I knew that she had recently been diagnosed with abdominal mass. When I went to interview her I learned she had just found out the evening before of her cancer diagnosis and was very upset about it. She had no family around and she was tearful and kept asking me if she was going to die. I patiently listened to her fears without affirming or denying her diagnosis, but she cried out for me to not leave her asking me to sit with her. I sat with her for about a half hour and encouraged her to close her eyes and get some rest. When she fell asleep I advised the nurse of her anxiety.”
This didn’t necessarily have much to do with nutrition, “however how the role of a dietitian wears many hats,” JillAnn said.
JillAnn was in Lynchburg for 4 months and 1 week, and now she’s on to her next adventure with Dietitians on Demand, in Florida.
“I cannot wait for Florida,” she said. “I’m already creating my bucket list.”
“JillAnn has the right personality and demeanor for being a travel dietitian,” her Lynchburg supervisor Ida said.
Follow our blog posts to see what’s on JillAnn’s bucket list for Florida!