Shaunna Cullen – Staff Writer –
Among the many jobs Doreen Kordorsky has had during her lifetime, she said working at Southern with students is one she will never forget.
Kordorsky earned her first degree in psychology and said while she liked counseling, she did want to work in psychiatric facilities.
“Being healthy was always important to me,” said Kordorsky.
After gaining the opportunity to go back to school, Kordorsky began taking some courses in various places before making it into the program at St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford. Kordorsky said she liked the program because it built practical experience into the four-year program.
“It was very challenging and self gratifying that I was able to get through all of that,” said Kordorsky.
Kordorsky said the job market at the time she graduated was flat, but she was able to get a job at a nursing home. She said she was happy she got the job but said she wasn’t able to do a lot of aggressive treatment.
Furthering her career, Kordorsky ended up getting a job at New Britain General Hospital. There she worked with patients who were just leaving the hospital and trying to give them help with managing their new diets.
The problem with this, Kordorsky said, was at this time, Medicare or Medicaid was not paying for people to stay in the hospital long and she would be telling them their new diets and they would be putting their coats on to leave.
The hospital did start doing some outpatient care and Kordorsky said she was creating diets for diabetics, for people who wanted to lose weight and for people with cardiac problems.
After having her first daughter, Kordorsky said she wanted to find a job closer to home, so she began working in home care.
“That was the best of all worlds,” said Kordorsky, “Because you actually got to go into someone’s home when they were feeling better. And you’d go into their refrigerator and cabinets; you know it was very grassroots, very organic. I really liked that.”
Kordorsky said she then was very interested in Diabetes and took a test to become a Certified Diabetes Educator, which was a title she had after her name for 10 years.
She said this test was very challenging because she had to know all about the medications and the insulin regimens. Kordorsky said mostly doctors or nurses take this test.
She used her CDE to educate people about preventing diabetes as well as managing it. She would give supermarket tours to those with diabetes or at risk in New Haven.
Her next stop was Southern, where she was hired as a university assistant. Kordorsky worked with students one on one consulting and also did various programs throughout her time at Southern.
Kordorsky said one of the projects she worked on during her time here was the healthy picks at Conn. Hall. She said she worked very hard on this project and there is very little evidence of it.
Kordorsky does say though she felt like it made an impact because the Wellness Center pushed for nutritional facts to be posted by the foods.
One of the biggest challenges Kordorsky said she faced at Southern were the time constraints she had.
“I always felt like I wanted to do more,” she said.
While Kordorsky’s background includes many different jobs, she had one last thing she had to say about working at Southern:
“I’ve had a lot of different experiences in nutrition, but my experience at Southern I count as amongst my most rewarding and some of my most challenging. I will always treasure the experiences I had.”