MURRAY – Nutrition Coordinator Suzanne Seeley is retiring from Murray-Calloway County Hospital after 42 years of service.
“I graduated from Murray State and never regretted my field of study,” Seeley said. “I first became interested in being a dietitian when I was a freshman at Lyon County High School. My dad, who was a hard worker and very active, began falling asleep when sitting down to watch the nightly news and was drinking huge amounts of water. Eventually, he went to the doctor and found out that he had diabetes. I watched him change his eating habits and take medication for his diabetes, and saw how that made a difference in him feeling terrible all the time to feeling good again. That sparked my interest along with the science behind it.”
Seeley said health care has changed greatly over the years and remembers how surgeries like gall bladder removal kept patients in the hospital for days and today this surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. She also discussed how nutrition services are now an integral part of preventative care and a patient’s overall plan of care and how these services are now offered on an outpatient basis through the wellness center for the community to schedule an appointment, and how MCCH is moving forward and developing a diabetes education program through Murray Medical Associates.
“When I started as registered dietitian at MCCH in 1979, Mr. Poston was the CEO,” she said. “We were a smaller employee group and very much like family. I will always be grateful that Mr. Poston insisted I come for an interview as I had already accepted a dietitian position at one of the Paducah hospitals. I had worked at MCCH while as a student at MSU. Once I walked around the hospital after my interview, I instantly felt like I was “back home” and accepted the job.
“I’ve worked with an amazing group of dietitians during my tenure at MCCH; many of them also were graduates of MSU. I’ve seen so many changes in the field of dietetics; this had made it challenging and exciting to keep abreast of the advancements. When I started here, I didn’t see a patient unless I had a physician order and was consulted for mostly diabetes and heart disease. Today, we see patients if deemed nutrition risk based on dietitian nutrition screening (diagnosis, lab results, weight status); nursing and other care team members can request Registered Dietitian to see a patient and of course, see all physician/care provider ordered consults. I’ve loved working with patients and families and have had special interests in working with Oncology patients. I’ve had several family members diagnosed with cancer who received cancer treatment; I developed compassion for this population as I’ve seen first-hand the challenges this patient population faces while receiving treatment.”
Suzanne and her husband, Edward, love to travel and have a long bucket list that include many of the National Parks, frequent trips to see their son in New York City, and sailing on Kentucky Lake. She also plans to spend time having fun with great nieces/nephews including attending many of their sports activities.