Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Tamara Melton, an RDN, wife and mom and l live in Atlanta GA. I transitioned to the world of health IT about 5 years ago and I work as the Director of Health Informatics for Morrison Healthcare. Also, after seeing basically ZERO progress being made in increasing the racial and ethnic diversity in the nutrition profession, I recently co-founded Diversify Dietetics. It’s a nonprofit dedicated to empowering underrepresented minority dietetics students and helping them achieve their careers in nutrition. As my husband says, I’m a true West Indian- I always have at least 5 or 6 gigs going on!
What’s your favorite part about being a dietitian?
That we have the potential to positively impact literally every person on this planet. I also teach part-time at Georgia State University (yet another job, ha!) and I always remind my students that since everybody eats, everybody is someone we can work with. I also really love the variety of career pathways in our profession.
Describe what your typical week looks like?
For Morrison, I am usually on calls or video conferences with vendors, developers, our company leadership, chefs, food and nutrition directors or RDNs. I am usually focused on a software development project or creating data visualizations for colleagues. I often have either a dietetic or health Informatics intern, so I’m spending time helping him or her with their work. Sometimes I am on-site at one of our hospital accounts or at our corporate offices in Atlanta or Charlotte, working on pilots projects or training employees on new technology. Once a week during the school year I’m at GSU teaching. During early mornings and my lunchtime, I’m focused on Diversify Dietetics work: writing blog or social media posts or working on fundraising efforts or programming for the students and educators in our community.
How do you find balance between work & personal?
I am a huge believer in task lists and try very hard to be disciplined and stick to them. I’m a HUGE procrastinator by nature, but over the years I’ve learned that my heart and head can’t handle that stress of looming deadlines. Also being disciplined about getting work done means I save time and can keep my family and rest time free. I also try to avoid working on weekends.
What are 3 foods you can’t live without?
My mom’s roti, kefir and coffee!