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May 30, 2024

Building Healthier Futures: Julanne Luderman’s Dedication to Dietetics and Patient Care

file-1Julanne Luderman’s story is one of passion, perseverance, and dedication to dietetics and patient care. Her journey began when she earned a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and a master’s degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Cincinnati. After taking time off to start a family, she completed her internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati. Today, with 27 years of experience as a dietitian, Julanne’s resume reflects a wealth of knowledge and expertise in dietetics.

In September 2022, Julanne joined Mercy Health Hospital in Toledo as a clinical dietitian. When an opportunity arose at the Defiance campus, closer to her home, she embraced the role of campus dietitian, focusing on inpatient, outpatient, and cardiac rehab nutrition. Julanne primarily focuses on the cardiac rehab program, where she dedicates most of her time. She conducts cooking classes three times a week, teaching patients how to prepare healthy meals as part of their rehabilitation process.

Julanne’s journey into dietetics is deeply personal. As a child, she struggled with maintaining a healthy weight, which sparked her interest in nutrition. Determined to learn more, she avidly read magazines and eventually pursued a career in dietetics. Her passion for public health and helping others led her to switch from exercise physiology to dietetics during her studies. This decision allowed her to combine her love for health and nutrition with a desire to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.

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In her role at Mercy Health, Julanne focuses on building connections with her patients. “I talk to them a lot. I'll ask them questions like, ‘Have you ever eaten this?’ Or, ‘What do you like? What would your favorite thing be to put on a salad?’ Or, ‘Who does the shopping? Do you have any kids that you cook for?’” By asking patients about their eating habits and favorite foods, she creates a personalized and engaging learning environment, helping patients feel seen and understood. This dedication to understanding and building a relationship with her patients doesn't go unnoticed. Below is a note left to Julanne by a grateful patient:

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She approaches her classes with empathy and understanding, sharing her struggles and experiences with nutrition. Julanne believes that making patients feel comfortable and making herself relatable is key to their success in adopting healthier lifestyles. When asked about her approach to new patients, Julanne stated, “I tell them about my struggles and I tell them about trying to feed my kids. It’s not the easiest thing. We’re in charge of our health.”

A great example of Julanne’s work involved a patient resistant to dietary changes. Through patience and humor, she and the other class participants encouraged him to try new foods. This patient’s initial reluctance gradually turned into acceptance and enjoyment, highlighting the impact of a supportive and engaging community.

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Julanne’s favorite part of her job is witnessing her patients’ growth and enthusiasm for nutrition. She cherishes moments when patients share their successes, such as modifying family recipes to be healthier. “I just love the communication that we have. And watching them grow, that’s, like, the best.” These small victories reflect the lasting impact of her teaching and dedication. 

Julanne also values camaraderie and teamwork within the cardiac rehab program. Working alongside engaging and supportive nurses, she helps create a fun and welcoming environment. This positive atmosphere encourages patients to participate and enjoy their rehabilitation journey.

Looking ahead, Julanne aims to continue improving her work and providing the best possible care for her patients. She is driven by the joy of helping others and the fulfillment of seeing them embrace healthier lifestyles. Her commitment to excellence and passion for dietetics make her an invaluable asset to Mercy Health and the patients she serves.New call-to-action

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