Member Spotlight

Highlighting Our Incredible VAND Members!


Lakshmi Mahan Patel, MS, RDN

Interviewed by: Taylor Horne, RD

What is your current position of employment?  I currently work in the outpatient setting as a pediatric dietitian with Carilion Clinic, focused mainly on childhood weight management.

What inspired you to join the field of dietetics?  There are two main factors that piqued my interested in nutrition; growing up in Africa where you see malnutrition and food insecurity regularly, as well as being raised in an Indian household where food is a big part of everyday life and the culture.  I’ve always wanted to work with people directly, and I love that dietetics was able to marry my interests and passion while allowing me to make a difference through nutrition education and food!

What is the best thing about being a part of VAND?  I love being able to network with other dietitians and learn about the vast arenas dietitians work in, as well as how they work with other disciplines.  In order to move the profession forward, we have to be the experts and make our voices heard.

Tell us something surprising about yourself!  I love my volunteer work.  In my free time, I volunteer for Roanoke Refugee Partnership, which has been an eye opening and rewarding experience for me.  The work this organization does is phenomenal, and being able to give to those in need is so important to me.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?  Spending time with my children and husband is always at the top of my list.  Every day is entertaining; you never know what those little mouths may utter!  A close second is my love for cooking, trying new recipes and creating my own versions of recipes.  I also love to eat, and am always looking for a new cuisine to try!

What has been your most exciting event during 2019?  2019 is gearing up to be an exciting year!  I’d have to say the highlight will be attending a family wedding in India!

Congratulations to Lakshmi for being such an important part of our profession!