Spotlight on: Catherine (Cathie) Walsh, P.Dt., CDE
Clinical Dietitian, IWK Health Centre
Cathie is a clinical dietitian with over twenty years’ experience working in acute care settings both with adults and children. She has been working at the IWK Health Centre since 2002 working most of that time in women’s health. Cathie has also worked in the diabetes and pregnancy clinic for the last 16 years and was granted Diabetes Educator Certification in May 2013. She is currently studying for her 2018 recertification. Cathie’s key areas of interest are in women’s health particularly in the area of obesity, diabetes and prevention of chronic disease through nutrition. She is particularly interested in the social determinants of health and how these affect the daily lives of the clients she sees. Cathie is exploring production of food photography and video editing. She has been successful in receiving a Diabetes Care Program funding grant for creation of Online Education tools for Gestational Diabetes and Cultural Competence. She was also successful in obtaining a funding grant from IWK Auxiliary for the purchase of video editing production resources and tools. Cathie is mom to her two daughters, Erin and Lauren. Cathie enjoys walking, biking, home fitness or “kitchen cardio”, writing, art and playing guitar.
What is one tip you could share with future/current dietitians?
Be curious and open minded.Have as much fun as you can.
Is your current position something you’ve always imagined yourself doing, or far from it?
When I interned, I did do a rotation on women’s health at IWK. I said that would be where I would want to work and I did have the good fortune to do so. I started out in Home Economics at UPEI in 1981 then took a few years off to explore life and world. Returned to school at 26 initially interested in nursing but did not get in. Life has its own plan for us.
What do you look forward to each day in your job?
Working on creative projects that make a difference to others. Working with people, learning their stories, listening.
Who or what inspired you to become a dietitian?
As mentioned, home economics and textiles was my first interest, then nursing but nutrition was an interesting science to me. I wasn’t sure that I could do the science aspect but my maturity level was on my side and I did very well with the sciences and loved the social science part.
What was your most memorable meal?
A bowl of turkey soup in Summerside, PEI, after having recent jaw surgery to correct my bite.
Who is your strongest supporter?
That is a tough one. I have a fleet of supporters. I would say my honey Roger or my sister Dar.
What is your family’s favourite dish that you prepare?
Salmon burgers – my mothers recipe. Also my daughter’s favorite.
Is there any food or nutrition related book or documentary that really changed the way you think about what you eat?
Linda Omichinski (dietitian) in Alberta wrote a wonderful book on weight management called HUGS. She had a program that went with this. This book is kind of a foundation of my learning in my profession and the area of weight and health.