March is National Nutrition Month - Here's My Fertility Hero - Carolyn Gundell
In Honor of National Nutrition Month, My Fertility Hero is...
Every once in a while, when I am so inspired, I write to you about a fertility hero. There are people that just do that. Inspire. It could be Lindsay Nohr Beck, cancer surviver and founder of Fertile Hope, an organization devoted to fertility preservation. It could be a man or woman who goes above and beyond in their quest to create their family and keeps their sense of humor. And cheers up other people. And spends time with their nieces and nephews. It could be my fearless partner in leading Ladies Night In, Carrie Van Steen, who gives her whole heart to her patients.
Lately, I've had one on my mind. And, as it happens, it is March 1, the first day of National Nutrition month. The timing seems fortutitous. Meet Carolyn Gundell, RMACT nutritionist. Where do I start? From the beginning.
Carolyn Gundell and Nutrition
She has helped patients make substantial changes in their lives since she has joined the practice
Her nutrition expertise when it comes to weight loss, food plans and understanding the challenging endocrine disorders of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes and PCOS is unsurpassed
Carolyn has five board certified reproductive endocrinologists that she consults closely with to create plans for patients trying to conceive
Her passion has led her to create seminars, such as pre-conception health and how to be healthy once you become pregnant
She has led the charge to educate and support young women, NOT trying to become pregnant, who have PCOS and want to live their lives in as healthy a way as possible
Carolyn has established on-going PCOS seminars and support groups to support and educate women trying to manage PCOS and trying to conceive
- She is an integral part of our new program for teenagers struggling with the effects of PCOS
Those are the formal things to know about Carolyn. I'm lucky enough to have an insider view. Here are some less formal things that inspire me about Carolyn.
Those beautiful boards that tell you about pre-natal vitamins, PCOS and food? She makes them herself
When she broke her foot, she continued to see patients, lug around empty boxes to review ingredients with patients and never lost a step (pardon the pun)
She always has time to stop in at Ladies Night In, to chat or educate - at 8 pm, after a full day
She will often walk someone over personally, for Fertile Yoga
Carolyn will speak with any RMACT team member about food, diet, exercise. She gives of her time very freely
When there is no appointment and a patient needs one, she will always find time
She has more ideas on how to improve patient experiences at RMACT in 10 minutes than most of the rest of us do in weeks
Here a few comments from some of her RMACT colleagues:
Carolyn has inspired me very much.
I am trying to use some of her suggestions in my own life.
I am actually feeling the best that I have in some years with a better diet, vits and excercise. Thanks Carolyn! ~ Spencer Richlin, MD - Surgical Director of RMACT
Working with Carolyn Gundell as a part of the PCOS team has been truly inspiring. Her dedication, caring and willingness to spend time with each patient she cares for is remarkable. She will go the extra mile for anyone in order to help make their lives better. In addition, on a personal note, Carolyn is always there to help me in my own struggle with my weight and nutrition. ~ Diana D'Amelio - RMACT Physicians Assistant - PCOS and Third Party team member
Adjectives that I would use to describe Carolyn would include: passionate, dedicated, intelligent, resourceful, kind, and pretty darn amazing. Carolyn has changed the practice's thoughts and behaviors about eating and at this point hundreds of patients in the practice. Recently there's been a patient in our practice that I believe never would've gotten pregnant if she not met with Carolyn. Additionally she works hard and persistently for patients that are at risk from diabetes and significant obesity. She picks up things that the doctors don't pick up secondary to her inquisitive nature and unique relationship she has with patients.
She frequently teaches me things. She's always pleasant and positive and I feel thankful that I get an opportunity to work with her. ~ Mark Leondires, MD - Medical Director of RMACT
Carolyn shares a wealth of knowledge with a passion and energy that is inspiring. She works tirelessly to ensure the well being of her patients. Working with Carolyn is an enriching experience- I am always learning something new! ~ Eloise Downs - Registered Nurse on RMACT's PCOS Team
A final note about Carolyn. Lately, it's occurred to me that Carolyn is remarkable, in a way that I'm a little uncomfortable talking about. That's a word that's used a lot for her. Remarkable. Passionate is another word. Educated is a third. Those three words are probably the reason that she is able to connect so effectively with patients. When I look at Carolyn, I realize the point of looking past the physical being. Carolyn is a beautiful woman. She is also thin and svelte. I admire our patients and Carolyn's looking past one another's looks to see the person within.
When I first met Carolyn, I really wondered how men and women who were obese, overweight or even had just a few pounds to lose would take to working with someone who is a size 2. Her size intimidated me. Credit goes to her ability to make a connection despite the difference in outward appearances, for her to relate so passionately to patients who could be dismissive of her, but who are not. She finds the way, seamlessly into our patients hearts, to help and support them on their journey for their families.
I have a lot to learn from Carolyn too. I find I am in a large pool of RMACT team members and patients that are grateful we are lucky enough to have this fertility hero. Thanks Carolyn, for contributing your considerable self, size 2 or not, to the RMACT team and family.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.