Student Health Services brings on a new dietitian


Photo credit/ Photo courtesy of Joseph Swales

The dietitian assists students with any dietary concerns and promotes healthy eating and overall well-being.

Student Health Services has hired Marywood alumnus Joseph Swales as the on-campus registered dietitian and nutritionist.

Swales works with students experiencing eating disorders, gastrointestinal issues such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and other conditions. He also provides services for students at risk for or experiencing heart or kidney disease and diabetes.

Swales said that he is “LGBTQ+ friendly” as well as “trauma informed and weight inclusive.”
He hopes to create a welcoming environment for students.

Instead of just providing students with information, Swales said he takes an individualized, counseling approach.

“A lot of the new research is showing that if you sit down with someone, get to know them, build that rapport, and let them lead the conversation… it’s almost always way more effective,” said Swales.

Swales is collaborating with the Counseling/Student Development Center, the Athletic Training Department and the Pacer Pantry to offer comprehensive services for students. This includes working with athletic trainers to help student athletes create nutritious meal plans, partnering with counselors to provide mental health services and collaborating with the pantry to ensure students have access to food options.

The university’s dining services department has not had a dining hall manager since the resignation of Natalie McGroarty in August, but Director of Dining Services Virginia Savage said they are looking to fill that position and plan to collaborate with Swales.

Gourmet Dining, Marywood’s new dining service provider, also offers free nutrition services to students. Students can text the Marywood Dining Services Wellness Connect phone number at (570) 676-1737 to contact a registered dietitian from their staff.

Maura Smith, director of student health services, explained the various factors they hope Swales will consider while working with students.

“We realize that funds are oftentimes limited, choices when it comes to dorm room eating might be limited and with the food insecurities that are prevalent in our community and beyond, we’re hopeful that our dietitian can address those needs for our students,” said Smith.

Smith explained that Student Health Services had previously employed a dietitian prior to the pandemic, but the position has been vacant for over a year. During that time, students were referred to off-campus resources.

“We’re just really excited to bring these services back to campus,” said Smith.

Swales’ services are available to all students free of charge.

“Essentially any concern someone has about their nutrition, it doesn’t have to be related to a medical condition, they can come in and see and we’ll talk it through and try to figure something out for them,” he said.

To make an appointment with Swales call Student Health Services (570) 348-6249 x2347 or email him at [email protected].

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