A Message From Katia

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Who would know that an eight-year-old who was battling cancer would affirm my love for nutrition and others? When I met my first patient, a beautiful Hispanic girl who was diagnosed with Leukemia, she taught me that food is a way of connecting with and loving one another. She was experiencing her last change of oral feeding before the Provider and RD would recommend a tube feeding due to lack of appetite.

I felt a sense of urgency that propelled me to find different ways that I could get this child to take a bite of her food.

Since we had a cultural connection, I utilized my knowledge of the typical Mexican diet and I grabbed ingredients like white rice, cinnamon, and milk to make “arroz con leche” or watermelon and sugar to make “agua fresca.” Little did I know that this was the cure to her lack of appetite. She needed her typical foods. Not only did she gain her weight back, but we made a special connection that remains special until this day.

After living in the U.S. for 4 years, I joined the soccer and track teams in my high school. I quickly learned that there were cultural differences in the way health was viewed by both my Mexican culture and the American culture. My family viewed health and fitness with minimal importance and we followed a diet high in carbohydrates like eating tortillas for all meals. My coaches and my teammates seemed to make diet a priority. We were constantly told to eat healthy and drink plenty of water to perform well. This is when I started to find a balance between my two cultural identities. I would eat my typical meals at home, but I would eat less carbohydrates during meals. I slowly started to learn about other foods that were healthier.

By being around the sports community, I started to realize how diet figures into being a healthy human. Remembering how my grandparents died from Type 2 Diabetes and my enthusiasm for activity cemented my passion for doing nutrition research. I wanted to know how a human being should eat to prevent mortal diseases and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My sophomore year of high school, my English teacher asked me a question that changed my life completely when she asked, “What would you like to do when you go to college?”. I simply stayed quiet, hoping there was a career that involved nutrition. I started considering universities, and I began to look for schools that had a nutrition program.

In September 2015, I moved to the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle to start school at SPU to finish my degree for my future nutrition career. After a few months of settling in, I took a job at Seattle Children’s Hospital as a Dietary Patient Services Coordinator. Being the youngest employee of the Nutrition Department did not stop me from climbing the ladder. A few months after being hired, I was offered a Formula Technician position where I learned about infants and formula production.

I gained medical nutritional therapeutic experience with different chronic diseases and practiced menu planning for specific medical needs.

These community, athletic, food service, and clinical nutrition experiences have helped prepare me for my nutrition career by giving me hands-on practice and high-level professional experience in the dietetics field.”

— Katia Mora, Thorbeckes Nutrition Director

Education

Dietetic Internship/ Dietitian Residency Program

Sea Mar Community Health Centers graduated, 2018

Bachelor of Science, Food and Nutritional Science, Dietetics
Seattle Pacific University graduated, 2017

Associates of Arts
Centralia College, graduated, 2015

Honors/Awards

  • Seattle Pacific University, Transfer Selected Scholarship recipient, September 2015
  • Seattle Pacific University Transfer Achievement Scholarship recipient, September 2015
  • Centralia College Scholarship recipient, Honors, Winter 2013, Spring 2013
  • William E. Battie Scholarship recipient

Certifications

  • Commission of Dietetic Registration, Registered Candidate for Dietitian
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, student member September 2015-present
  • Washington State Food Handlers Permit, September 2015-September 2020
  • CPR certified, September 2017-2019

Related Experience

Dietetic Intern; Sea Mar Community Health Centers,
September 2017-2018

  • 40 hrs/wk internship with Seattle Children’s Hospital, local clinics, and athletic clubs
  • Observed and participate in nutrition counseling and MNT appointments for patients with variety of disease stages, diabetes mellitus, childhood obesity, eating disorders, IBS, IBD, renal failure and infants
  • Developed and complied handouts and materials for diabetes education classes, and athletes
  • Entered medical nutritional recommendations in hospitals software

Formula Technician; Seattle Children’s Hospital,
Nutrition Department, May 2016- 2018

  • Prepare nutritional supplements, breastfeeding formulas, ketogenic, metabolic and infant formula
  • Follow standardized recipes with great attention to detail, in sterilized work environment
  • Low margin of error, high accuracy of measuring nutrition clinical supplementation

Nutrition Call Center Agent, Seattle Children’s Hospital,
Nutrition Department, December 2016-2018

  • Select food for specific diets, carbohydrate counting, low sodium, low potassium, renal, dialysis, rehabilitation, high protein, and cystic fibrosis
  • Handle 50+ nutrition-related calls per shift
  • Designated to problem solve all food service related patient complaints

Dietary Patient Services Coordinator; Seattle Children’s Hospital, Nutrition Department, January 2016- December 2016

  • Assigned Spanish speaking cases with childhood cancer and nutrition menu planning  
  • Processed of diets in hospital programs enter by providers and clinical staff
  • Selected meals for modified diets, psychiatry, GI, immunosuppressed, food allergies, calorie counts
  • Monitored of 150 meals through computer nutrition programs, preventing possible errors