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Arthritis Diet and Exercises

DSH-Napa Employee Highlight: Christen Cena (subtitled)


So, if anybody is here today who feels like, ‘Actually, coming to these meetings is a little too much. I’d rather be a booster,’ please speak up now. My name is Christen Cena. I’m the Assistant Director of Dietetics-Clinical for Napa State Hospital. I’ve been working at Napa since 2009. But in 2009, I was a Dietetic Intern, so after my year of internship, I began working here as a Clinical Dietitian for a little over five years. And then for the past year, I’ve been the Assistant Director of Dietetics. My path to dietetics actually came through being a science major, biology major. When I was looking for a dietetic internship, mental health was not something I ever really considered. But I heard about this program and then once I started working here, I was like, ‘Wow, this is a really unique experience that most people don’t get and it is really rewarding once you start working here. When we originally started this committee, it was geared towards employee health and wellness. The Health and Wellness Committee started out of general conversation among a few dietitians in the office. We have a lot of friends that work in the tech or the private sector and they have all these great wellness programs and all these offerings, and we were like, ‘Hey, how come we don’t have anything here,’ and we really saw a need for it. I mean being a clinical dietitian here I would be walking down the hall and, you know, a nurse might stop me and be like, ‘Oh, can you help me with my diabetes?’ Or someone would say, ‘Oh, my husband has congestive heart failure. ‘Can you help me read this food label? Help me identify sodium? So, little things like that would come up and I thought, ‘Wow, there’s really a need here.’ And since we spend so much time at work, I felt like, it just makes sense for us to try to be well. [Laughter] I do see a lot of opportunity here for improvements in health and wellness, and that’s something that I’m really passionate about. I’d like to really see the establishment of a sustainable health and wellness committee and culture of health here at the hospital. That’s the ultimate goal. As we start planning with Healthier U and running programs, I mean we can do like things that might make sense for patients to collaborate together or share ideas and resources. Now we’re in the process of collaborating with the Healthier U pilot program and that’s really exciting because that’s showing that on a higher level that DSH is concerned about employees health and wellness and is willing to take action to support that. The end goal here is to take this program – what we do in a 24-hour state facility – and take that to the other state hospitals, so it’s really exciting.

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