Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) employees Bonnie Dixon, RD, LD and Bethany Smith, RD, LD have recently achieved board certification as specialists in oncology nutrition. They are two of only seven registered dietitians in Georgia with this certification. Dixon and Smith may now add the credential Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO) to their names.
“The certification exam was very challenging, because what you’re tested on goes far beyond book knowledge,” said Dixon. “It’s heavily based on things that must be learned through specialized experience.”
“The experience of working at GCS for the past seven years provided the perfect environment to prepare for the exam, because we consult daily with patients with many types of cancer who are receiving a variety of cancer therapies,” said Smith. “The credential validates the specialized knowledge and skills that we have – just as a physician who specializes in oncology has a different set of skills than a general practitioner.”
The Commission on Dietetic Registration bestows the CSO credential. It can only be earned by a registered dietitian who has passed a nationally administered examination, which can only be attempted once the applicant has accumulated a minimum of 2,000 hours of documented practice in the specialty area.
“We’re proud to have Bethany and Bonnie as part of our team,” said Dr. Bruce Feinberg, president and CEO of GCS. “It’s the dedication, expertise, and compassion of our team members that allows us to consistently deliver the best possible care to patients.”
Specialists in oncology nutrition work directly with individuals at risk for or diagnosed with cancer in hospitals, clinics, and cancer centers. They can also fill roles in management, education, and research linked to oncology nutrition. CSO certification helps the public, the media, and other healthcare professionals identify a Registered Dietitian who has specialized knowledge and experience in oncology.
The Commission on Dietetic Registration is the credentialing arm of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Its mission is to protect the nutritional health and welfare health of the public through dietetics certification. The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals and is empowering members to be the nation’s food and nutrition leaders and optimizing the nation’s health through food and nutrition.
Dixon serves the GCS Northside, Alpharetta, Cumming, John’s Creek, Eastside, Gwinnett, Blue Ridge, and Blairsville offices.
Smith serves the GCS Cobb, Douglasville, Kennestone, Paulding, and Canton offices.
Georgia Cancer Specialists is the largest private medical oncology/hematology practice in the Southeast and a leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination. The GCS research department, whose focus is bringing targeted cancer therapy to communities, is the first in Georgia to offer Phase I clinical trials, the most novel cancer therapies available. GCS has 30 offices, 42 physicians, and more than 480 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia, Southeast Tennessee, and Southwest North Carolina, and provides care through approximately 205,000 annual patient visits. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at www.gacancer.com. GCS is The Cancer Answer .