Medical Nutrition Therapy

Nutrition therapy and counseling are available at Virginia Gay Hospital on an outpatient basis with the hospital’s registered and licensed dietitian.

Are you are wanting some guidance with various nutrition issues, including weight (both underweight or overweight/obesity), high cholesterol/abnormal lipid results, food intolerances or allergies or other nutritional concerns? With a physician referral our nutrition expert is available on an outpatient basis to assist in your individualized needs. Insurance coverage varies; contact your insurance to see if a visit is covered.

A physician’s referral is required for your insurance or Medicare* benefit.

You will work with our dietitian to individualize and identify realistic lifestyle changes and goals. For more information on nutrition counseling, call Sara Wattnem (319) 472-6254 or talk with your doctor today.


What We Treat

Consultations are available for a variety of nutrition concerns, including the following conditions:


Renal (Kidney) Disease

Celiac Disease

Food Allergies and Intolerances

Underweight/Failure to Thrive

Weight Management

Get a Head Start

Diabetes Prevention Program

You’re thinking about making healthy changes to prevent type 2 diabetes. A diabetes prevention lifestyle change program can help you build healthy new habits that last a lifetime. When you join a lifestyle change program, you’ll learn, share stories, try new things, and build new habits—all while lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes and improving your health. Research shows that diabetes prevention lifestyle change program participants who lost 5-7% of their body weight and added 150 minutes of exercise per week cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).

Even a decade later, program participants were one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than individuals who did not join a program.

Learn More

Time Commitment

The program runs for 1 year.

  • During the first 6 months of the program, you will meet about once a week.
  • During the second 6 months, you’ll meet once or twice a month.

You may think you learned enough in the first 6 months and can skip the second half of the program. But you’d be cheating yourself!

Making lifestyle changes is an ongoing process. Staying in the program for the full year is essential to help you stick to new habits and avoid slipping back into old habits. And if you have not reached your goals in the first half of the program, your lifestyle coach and other group members can help you succeed.

**Please note** if you have been diagnosed with type two diabetes or are living with type one diabetes this program is not available to you. Please visit our Diabetes Education tab or Medical Nutrition Therapy Tab for more information.

Living a Normal Life

Diabetes Education

What is diabetes education?

Diabetes education helps people with diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to change behavior and successfully self-manage diabetes and its related conditions. Interactive and ongoing, the goal of Diabetes Education is to help you achieve optimal health and improved or sustained quality of life.

Through our Diabetes Self-Management classes, we will work with you, your support people and your doctor to optimize your diabetes control while in our care.

Diabetes Risk factors

  • Decreased activity
  • Weight gain
  • Family history of the disease
  • Age over 40 years
  • Diabetes during pregnancy

If you have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, talk with your physician about providing a referral to us to attend Diabetes Self-Management classes. You will learn skills that will keep your blood glucose (sugars) in good control and potential ways to slow down the progression of the disease and prevent long-term complications.

Topics covered in Diabetes Self-Management classes

  • What diabetes is and how it affects your body
  • How physical activity can help you control your blood sugars
  • How to monitor your blood sugars
  • How to develop a food plan that works for you

On completion of class you will continue to have the support of the team of diabetes educators and your family physician to support you so you may continue to live a healthy, productive life.