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District's Nutrition and Dietetics director wins award

Suzanne Kennewell receives Dietitians Australia's Award of Merit

A portrait of Suzanne Kennewell.
SydneyConnect Image: Suzanne Kennewell, recepient of a Dietitians Australia's Award of Merit

 Suzanne Kennewell is dedicated to improving nutrition for patients receiving care in Sydney Local Health District.

"My passion comes into informing the systems and processes that support nutrition care for patients," she said.

"How do we enable the systems that allow our staff to support our patients? It's the hidden part of good clinical care, making things happen."

Suzanne has received a 2022 Dietitians Australia Award of Merit.

Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson says the award is in recognition of her outstanding work in the field over the past 30 years.

"This commendation of Suzanne's extensive contribution to the field of dietetics is very much deserved. We are so very fortunate to have Suzanne's leadership in our District, supporting our staff and our patients," Dr Anderson said.

"We congratulate Suzanne on this Award, recognition of her contributions and leadership in the District is well-deserved," Sarah Whitney, the District's Allied Health Director and Chief Allied Health Information Officer, said.

As the District's Director of Nutrition and Dietetics, Suzanne oversees teams who provide a comprehensive range of services to hospital patients, including nutritional screening, nutritional assessment, medical nutrition therapy, counselling and education.

She is an expert in food service and allergy diet management and regularly provides advice, training and guidance in these areas.

She is the Co-Chair of the Nutrition in Hospitals Committee within the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and a member of the NSW Nutrition and Food Strategic Steering Group which is the peak NSW Health nutrition governance group.

She was instrumental in overseeing the governance system set up when NSW Health food services systems were centralised under the umbrella of HealthShare.

She has tirelessly advocated for recognition of dietitians' work and has significantly raised the profile of Nutrition and Dietetics across the District, state and country.

The award also recognises her active involvement in the education and training of young dietitians and students.

Not one to be in the spotlight, she is grateful for the nomination by her colleagues.

"The recognition of my peers is the pinnacle of what I could have asked for. As clinicians, it is so meaningful that colleagues understand what you do and the difference you make to patients. It means more than any public accolade."

The award will be presented during a ceremony at the Dietitians Australia 2022 Conference in August.