DDI Spotlight: Center for Human Nutrition

Specialty touches all areas of health

By Donald Kirby, MD

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The Center for Human Nutrition houses all the resources for the comprehensive evaluation, education and treatment of patients with disease-related nutrition problems. This innovative approach allows registered dietitians, dietetic technicians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians and surgeons to provide individualized plans for both adults and pediatric patients with specialized nutrition needs. The center encompasses three distinct areas:

  • Nutrition Therapy — Meets the clinical nutrition needs of inpatient and outpatient clients
  • Nutrition Support — Provides specialized enteral and parenteral nutrition support
  • Intestinal Rehabilitation — Nutrition support program for the Center for Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation, one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the world

Highlights

  • Our Center for Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation is a growing local, national and international referral destination for patients with complex bowel disorders who require medical nutrition therapies, including enteral and parenteral nutrition support, over months or years. We recently celebrated 40 years of providing home parenteral nutrition support to one of the world’s largest cohorts of patients.
  • Recognizing, addressing and documenting malnutrition in hospitalized patients is an initiative underway throughout Cleveland Clinic health system. Identifying at-risk patients at admission, administering comprehensive nutrition assessments, implementing care plans and documenting appropriately help reduce length of stay and decrease complications and readmissions.
  • About 100 clinical dietitians provide standardized nutritional care to all patients. Outpatient nutrition counseling is provided at 13 sites throughout the health system.
  • Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, CNSC, is utilizing a metagenomic approach to mitigate ethanol-induced gut liver injury. Through discovery of alterations in fermentation byproducts of the gut microbiota by ethanol, Dr. Cresci is studying a possible nutritional supplement to correct imbalances.

The growth within the Center for Human Nutrition is unprecedented compared with other similar programs. Our dedicated and talented interdisciplinary support team provides the most advanced care in a specialty that touches all areas of health, disease management and wellness.