Stormont Vail Health team helps achieve Malnutrition Awareness Week proclamation in Kansas

Stormont Vail Health team members spent time at the Kansas Statehouse on Aug. 24, 2022 participating in a proclamation ceremony to recognize Malnutrition Awareness Week in the state of Kansas.

Malnutrition Awareness Week is an annual, multi-organizational campaign that is slated for September 19-23 of this year. Allison Gunnoe, a clinical dietitian at the Stormont Vail Health Cancer Center, submitted the request for Governor Laura Kelly to officially recognize this week in our state as well. She took this initiative because she wants to increase education on malnutrition and how it has an impact on everyone in the community, throughout the state.

“Malnutrition awareness is important to me as a dietitian as it directly impacts the patients that I provide medical nutrition therapy for,” said Allison. “Additionally, with the pandemic and current environment we are in, there has been an increase in food insecurity and there is likely some unrecognized malnutrition within the community.”

Dietitians at Stormont Vail and in the community screen every patient for malnutrition risk and implement necessary nutrition interventions in order to prevent or improve malnutrition.

“As a cancer center dietitian, nutrition status plays a vital role in terms of a patient’s tolerance of treatment and overall outcome, and even plays a role in survivorship,” stated Ms. Gunnoe.

Malnutrition can come in all shapes and sizes. Allison notes that using this awareness week will help educate people on key risk factors such as unintentional weight loss, decreased nutrient intake, weakness and fatigue, fluid accumulation, and muscle and fat loss. She also wants to use this week to recognize the populations who may be at risk, like those with chronic kidney disease, lung disease, and diabetes, people with cancer or dementia, and those who encounter social and environmental factors limiting food accessibility.

Requesting this proclamation from the Governor shows how our team’s dedication goes above and beyond caring for our community and patients. We are so proud of Allison and the team who worked to make this proclamation happen as we prepare to now formally recognize Malnutrition Awareness Week in Kansas in just a few weeks.

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