Nation’s Elite Sports Nutrition Training Program Selects Memorial Hermann

Recent graduate takes the career fast lane through Gatorade Sports Nutrition Immersion Program.

Just last spring, Taylor Barros was finishing up her college degree at Florida State University. Now, only a few months later, she stands in front of the Houston Baptist University softball team to give them advice on their diets and nutrition. But how did she get here so quickly?

Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute welcomed Barros as its first Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association (CPSDA) Gatorade® Sports Nutrition Immersion Program (SNIP) fellow. In August, Barros, a Delaware resident, began working with The Institute after being notified she was one of only 10 applicants selected to participate in the 2017-2018 fellow program, which matches full-time sports dietitians with Gatorade and CPSDA student and associate members interested in getting more practical hands-on experience working with athletes and sports programs.

“Taylor brings a fresh set of ideas and it’s always helpful to have a new set of eyes to see how our program works, and to identify where we are excelling and where improvements can be made,” said Brett Singer, a sports dietitian with Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute. “We have a small team of sports dietitians who are not always able to immediately pursue potential opportunities for Memorial Hermann due to existing responsibilities or scheduling challenges. Over the years, we’ve developed new project ideas and Taylor is so motivated and works well independently. She will be able to put our ideas into action and could help expand the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute brand.”

This is the first year The Institute, which is the only hospital-based sports medicine program participating in this year’s program, has hosted a SNIP fellow. Barros will train alongside dietitians and physical therapy residents to learn more about sports medicine and rehabilitation and the importance of sports nutrition in the rehab setting. Additionally, she’ll learn about The Institute’s sports nutrition partnerships with local high schools and universities, and how an interdisciplinary team of sports medicine professionals work together to maintain those relationships. According to Singer, The Institute’s participation in the program as a host site is another avenue to expand its programs.

“We’ve created a high school sports nutrition program that places our employees on a high school campus every other week throughout the year,” said Singer. “In this program, we teach student athletes about the importance of quality nutrition. We’re hopeful we can demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and expand it in the future, and also develop a similar program at the collegiate level this year. In the clinic, we care for a variety of athletes of all performance levels and we are continuing to increase awareness of our sports nutrition program and our extensive clinical expertise.”

Barros’ fellowship will last through April 2018.

“Once I complete my dietetic internship in April and pass my registered dietitian exam, I hope to begin my career as a paid intern or as one of the assistants to the director of a collegiate sports nutrition department,” said Barros. “Once I have a job and a solid foundation, I would like to be certified as a Sports Dietetics Specialist.. After gaining more experience at this elite level, I hope to become a director of sports nutrition and begin building my own team of employees and interns. Eventually, it is my goal to be the performance dietitian for a team in the National Football League.”

To learn more about the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute’s sports nutrition consultations, click here.

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Tashika Varma