UnityPoint Health - Memorial Hospital

Deborah Schuster

Deborah Schuster

Deborah Schuster grew up in a small town in southwest Missouri about 60 miles from Springfield, Missouri.  She attended Drury College and received a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics with an emphasis in Food and Nutrition.  Deborah applied for an internship sponsored by McDonough District Hospital and Blessing Hospital.  Completing an internship is required by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics before sitting for the dietitian exam. 

After completing the internship, Deborah decided to stay in the area since a nice young man by the name of Kenneth Schuster asked her to marry him.  They chose to live in Quincy, Illinois.  Deborah began employment soon after getting married.  Her first job was with the Adams County Health Department as a sanitarian.  Due to the many years of experience and education in food service, Deborah had primary responsibility for the food service sanitation program in Adams County.

Employment with the health department continued for 6 years. Deborah became the certified retail food inspection officer for Adams County.  During this time, the state of Illinois began requiring all food service establishments to have food handlers that were certified in food service sanitation.  Deborah taught the Applied Food Service sanitation course for approximately 8 years for John Wood Community College.

With the credential of registered dietitian, Deborah began a part-time consulting business in Adams County.  She worked for two different long-term care facilities; a substance abuse center and mental health facility.  Nutrition services such as assessment, patient and staff education plus kitchen design and sanitation were her main responsibilities.

Deborah accepted employment as the food service director of a 600-bed nursing facility associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The responsibilities of the position were challenging, including providing experience in menu development and food procurement practices through a state agency.  After 18 years there, Deborah resigned to enjoy retirement with Mr. Schuster.  Mr. Schuster enjoyed retirement from Day One while Deborah found it to be boring after about Day 30.  So she started applying for part-time work as a dietitian.

On July 18th, 2004, Deborah began employment with UnityPoint Health – Memorial Hospital as the clinical dietitian.  Life has not been boring since.  Deborah is involved in the Diabetes Education program acquiring certification as a diabetes educator.  She has also become certified as a specialist in Gerontological Nutrition and a certified resident assessment coordinator.  Her responsibilities include patient counseling in all aspects of health related to nutrition, community education programs and oversight for the nutrition services for Hickory Grove and UnityPoint Health – Memorial Hospital.  

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