After years in a career that required constant travel, YaQutullah Ibraheem Muhammad, MS, RDN, LD, decided it was time to put down roots in her home state of Georgia.
Landing a job as a registered dietitian nutritionist with the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin has allowed Muhammad to engage in her passion for communicating about food and nutrition. "Whether it be with patients, their family members, community members or whoever — that's how I connect," she says. "It's always an interesting conversation."
In 2013, Muhammad volunteered for the VA's homeless veterans taskforce. This group of RDNs and managers from around the country collaborated on a toolkit for use in VA domiciliary care centers. The Domiciliary Care Program, created in the 1860s, provides assistance to veterans struggling with mental health, rehabilitation and homelessness. "I'm making a difference in my community," Muhammad says. "I have the opportunity to share good, evidence-based information that veterans can use and benefit from."
Tell us about your work.
As part of the primary care team, I provide nutrition education to veterans and their families at the Carl Vinson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dublin, Ga.
Who are your audiences?
Veterans and their family members…and occasionally VA staff members!
What need does this work help serve?
It helps to provide education for veterans with various disease challenges as well as resources for managing chronic illnesses with nutrition therapies and interventions.
What inspired you to undertake this work or project?
Helping to get much needed resources to the homeless.
Include when and how you became involved.
I was invited to work on the project in 2013.
What do you personally find most rewarding about your efforts?
Being able to share beneficial information and work with veterans using nutrition information in order to improve their health outcomes related to managing chronic and acute health challenges.
What about food, diet, nutrition or health drew you to this field?
I've always been interested in nutrition and its impact on overall health. In college, I was passionate about nutrition. Traveling and exploring foods and how they impact different cultures and ideas around health outcomes.