Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center registered dietitian Rachel Ignomirello has been named a Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management (CSOWM) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The Commission is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
Ignomirello is the seventh registered dietitian in Tennessee and the first in Knoxville to earn this distinction. She is part of the hospital’s bariatric services program, supporting weight-loss surgery patients through appointments, classes and support groups. She also sees nonsurgical outpatients for weight management and chronic health condition nutrition counseling and education.
The certification in obesity and weight management recognizes expertise in helping patients with obesity. To be eligible, dietitians and other healthcare professionals must have maintained their professional credentials for at least two years and must have documented 2,000 hours of specialty practice experience in obesity and weight management. The CSOWM designation is earned and maintained through an initial examination and ongoing five-year certifications.
Ignomirello said the certification not only affirms practitioners’ clinical expertise but also helps them provide better patient care for patients who are overweight or obese.
“As a CSOWM professional, I feel more helpful to patients. I can better educate, support, and empower them to understand the risks of being overweight or obese, and to manage their weight through nutritional, physical, psychological, behavioral, medical and surgical interventions,” she said.
At Fort Sanders Regional, continuing education and skill development for employees is key to providing the top-notch care patients deserve. “Earning credentials raises the standards in evidence-based practice,” Ignomirello said. “This benefits clients, protects the public and emphasizes the importance of the healthcare team.”