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Terri Simonton’s kids’ friends call her “Ms. Portions,” but it’s for a good reason – she is passionate about teaching her children and others about healthy eating.
Now the clinical dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist for Clark Memorial Health, Terri’s interest in nutrition sparked when she was in college. She scored high in nutrition on an aptitude test, and when her mother was diagnosed with diabetes, Terri began researching the disease.
“I would relay what I was learning and saw it was making a positive difference for my mom,” Terri says. “And I thought, ‘I’m sure I can make a difference for a lot more people who have diabetes.’”
This March, which is National Nutrition Month, marks Terri’s 22nd anniversary of working at Clark. As a dietitian, she ensures hospital patients’ nutritional needs are met. As an educator for diabetes and weight loss alongside endocrinologist Dr. Chih Chang, Terri helps motivate people to make changes to live healthier lives.
Through the pandemic, she’s been able to speak with hospitalized COVID patients on the phone to learn their preferences and craft a nutrition plan alongside their multidisciplinary team of nurses and speech pathologists. She’s also continued to offer her diabetes and weight loss services via Zoom through Dr. Chang’s office in Sellersburg.
Terri says obesity is one of the greatest challenges she works to combat in our community.
“I want to help people understand how important nutrition and having a healthy lifestyle is and be able to make positive changes to reduce the risk of different diseases,” she says. “It’s easier said than done to make changes, but it’s a mental approach. Knowing what a patient’s challenges are, I can help them address that and come up with motivating factors to keep them on track.”
Here are Terri’s tips for eating – and feeling – better today:
Learn more about or register for Terri’s diabetes and weight loss services here or call 812.218.7966.