Free Nutrition Counseling Available for Drexel Employees

A display of nutritious fruits, vegetables and proteins.

With the start of the new year, if you’re thinking about improving your health and/or maintaining a balanced lifestyle, Drexel University’s nutrition counseling can be a good place to start. And if you’re employed by Drexel, it’s a very good place to start because it could be free

Drexel employees, through the University’s health insurance plan, are eligible to receive up to six free appointments (which can come out to a whole year’s worth of visits, really) with a registered dietitian nutritionist. And if you aren’t an employee and/or on Drexel’s health insurance, you can still use those same services through outpatient nutrition counseling available through the Nutrition Sciences Department in the College of Nursing & Health Professions. Most major insurances are accepted, and services are available to all faculty and professional staff as well as students and community members.

Nutrition Sciences Services Practice Manager Kaitlin Poillon, who is a registered dietitian in the Nutrition Sciences Department, said that this health benefit is something many people may not know about at Drexel, but it’s life-changing for those that do.

“It’s really important that Drexel cares about its employees and that it offers insurance benefits and has dietitians on staff entirely devoted to faculty, professional staff and students,” she said.

Whether it’s to help with your general health, weight loss, diabetes, nutrition education or diet and health conditions related to illness and disease, Poillon and other registered dietitians on staff will work with you to create customized plans and goals to work on through one-on-one sessions held in person at various locations on Drexel’s campuses, or virtually through telehealth if preferred by the client.

Nutrition Sciences Services Practice Manager Kaitlin Poillon. Photo courtesy Kaitlin Poillon.

With meetings spaced out one or two months apart, that means there’s a whole year’s worth of nutrition counseling available — again, for free. In between visits, clients can email or call with questions and/or concerns for their dietitians. And it’s not required to sign up for all six meetings, either, however, it is encouraged. The first visit will take one hour, and subsequent appointments will be for 30 minutes, and spaced out between one and two months.

To get started, email and expect to receive a reply within 24 hours with a survey to fill out related to interests and goals for nutrition counseling. You will have the opportunity to book an appointment once insurance has been verified.

During that first meeting with a dietitian, you can expect to go over their answers from the survey, discuss reasons for counseling and come up with different ways to improve or help. Short-term goals will be created and monitored in subsequent sessions, which could also include education on certain topics (what should you eat if you have high cholesterol?) and creating 24-hour food diaries related to everything you eat and drink to be evaluated and tweaked for substitutions and less frequent consumption.

With a whole office and staff — both full-time professionals and student dietitians gaining real-world experience in the field — available to help the Drexel community, Poillon said that Drexel is ready and equipped to help Dragons on their nutritional journeys.

“It really just shows that Drexel does want everyone to be healthy and has dedicated resources to help with that,” she said.