Member Spotlight

Highlighting Our Incredible VAND Members!


Katherine Basbaum MS, RD

Interviewed by: Taylor Horne, RD

Katherine is a clinical dietitian for the Heart & Vascular Center at UVA Health System.  She received her Master’s in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and completed her dietetic internship at UVA Health System.  Katherine is passionate about nutrition as medicine for chronic disease, and believes the key to her patients’ success lies in the establishment of realistic, achievable goals.

What inspired you to join the field of dietetics?  I had a good job working in the television production industry in San Francisco, but after a few years working there, I started to lose interest and passion for my job; I found myself much more stimulated by a growing hobby…nutrition and wellness.  Most of my free time was dedicated to reading books and magazines about nutrition or watching documentaries like King Corn or Super-Size Me, pretty much anything I could get my hands on.  I also loved sharing what I was learning with co-workers and friends.  All of this culminated one morning in an emotional coffee date with a good friend.  She suggested I quit my job, apply to graduate school, and pursue a career in dietetics. That was 9 years ago.

What is the best thing about being a part of VAND?  All the resources VAND provides to keep me up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of nutrition science, public policy, and with our Virginia-based dietitians, i.e. the annual meeting and email updates from the Delegate’s Desk or President’s Message.

Tell us something surprising about yourself!  When I was 10, we lived in Paris for a year so I spent 5th grade in an all French-speaking school; the other kids called me “la petite Americaine.” I also took Mandarin Chinese for 6 years during middle and high school.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?  Some of my favorite things to do are stay home with our animals (dog Day-Z and cat Maggie), cook, and watch a movie or work on a jigsaw puzzle.

What has been your most exciting event during 2019?  It’s still in the works but I’m hoping for a really cool trip later this year.  Maybe New Zealand, Iceland, or Costa Rica…

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