Director of Clinical Nutrition

    • Job Tracking ID: 512365-610970
    • Job Location: Petaluma, CA
    • Job Level: Management
    • Level of Education: BA/BS
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: March 02, 2018
    • Years of Experience: 5 - 7 Years
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:

The Petaluma Health Center’s mission is to provide high quality health care, with access for all, in Southern Sonoma County. The Center accomplishes this mission through collaborative, innovative programs, services and referral resources that meet the economic needs of the entire community.

The Petaluma Health Center is an eight-time award winner in the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009 and we were named as one of '2015 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay' by the North Bay Business Journal.

We are a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides primary medical care and mental health services to residents of Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Penngrove and surrounding areas. We are organized as a private, non-profit corporation and governed by a consumer and community led Board of Directors.

For more information about us, please visit us at


Position Title: Director of Clinical Nutrition


Summary: The Director of Clinical Nutrition develops, implements and manages nutrition programs and services to all age groups in accordance with Petaluma Health Center’s strategic and business objectives. The Director of Clinical Nutrition oversees clinical and quality assurance/ improvement program outcomes and will contribute to the development and management of department budgets and finances. This role also provides direct clinical care and dietary recommendations for Petaluma Health Center patients, including Medical Nutrition Therapy by utilizing the Nutrition Care Process.


Areas of Responsibility:


Management of Nutrition Programs


  • With oversight from the Wellness Operations Director and Wellness Associate Medical Director, the Director of Clinical Nutrition is responsible for the development and integration of nutrition programs in alignment with the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Works with the Chief Medical Officer, and Wellness Directors to improve interdisciplinary care.
  • Develops the nutrition department strategic plan in collaboration with Medical Directors, Operation Directors, health center providers, and key support staff.
  • Ensures the development and implementation of clinical policies, procedures and protocals for PHC’s Clinical Nutrition, leveraging existing evidence-based practices (EBP)
  • Ensures high-quality nutritional education is provided to patients consistent with current evidence-based practice (EBP) in patient education.
  • Works with the medical management, operation directors and the executive team to create standards of care, clinical policies, workflows and procedures related to nutrition care.
  • Develops a comprehensive plan to evaluate the clinical competencies of Registered Dieticians, including peer review, clinical chart audits, and direct observation of competencies.
  • Oversees onboarding, training and supervision of dieticians
  • Manage dietitians’ schedules, productivity, performance and daily operations.
  • Ensures that the department is optimally staffed.
  • In collaboration with Wellness Directors and key support staff, contribute to the development, evaluation and success of diverse shared medical visit (SMV) outcomes, content and curricula.
  • Develops and conducts in-service trainings.
  • Develops recipes and oversees health education provided to patients during food preparation conducted in shared medical visits and individual nutrition visits.
  • Partners with food access and subsidy programs.
  • Participates collaboratively with other providers and resources to assess and address health issues including the development of community standards and programs that benefits the nutritional needs of our patients.


Quality Improvement, Assurance and Program Performance


  • Identifies ways to improve care and makes recommendations to the Chief Medical Officer, Wellness Directors, and Internal Quality Improvement Committee.
  • Oversee quality assurance of nutrition programs including implementing peer review and chart audits for dieticians.
  • Monitor clinical performance and productivity by leveraging internal reports and data.




  • In collaboration with Wellness Directors:
    • Develop, monitor and manage the operational budget for the nutrition department
    • Ensure financial goals, revenue and productivity objectives are met
    • Analyzes financial, business and operations data to optimize performance
    • Ensures accurate and timely coding, billing and clinical documentation.
    • Creates short and long term goals for the clinical nutrition department; plans and implements departmental improvement plans based on these goals.
    • Investigates and implements evolving best practices and compliance for documentation and billing of medical nutrition therapies in FHQC’s


Direct Patient Care


  • Develops nutrition care plans for patients and selects appropriate foods, considering such variables as food availability, patient’s socio-economic status, food preferences and ability to chew food.
  • Assess patients’ nutritional status through history taking, review of the medical record, and consultation with the primary care provider.
  • Counsels patients regarding their dietary needs and the relationship between their diagnosis and diet, and motivates patients to maintain their diets.
  • Performs anthropometric measurements of patients.
  • Provides nutrition education, including general diabetes education, to patients.
  • Co-facilitates individual or group sessions in the format of shared medical visits (SMV) for chronic disease and diagnosis management, to provide nutritional support and education to patients
  • Counsels patients in establishing realistic and measurable nutritional and lifestyle self-management goals, and documents patient’s self management goals appropriately in EMR.
  • Promotes healthy lifestyles by advising patients on diet, hygiene, and disease prevention.
  • Conducts patient education programs for weight reduction, cultural preferences, and special-need diets for certain health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
  • Teaches appropriate food preparation and safe food handling.
  • Arranges appropriate follow up care for patients in accordance to provider’s treatment plan for medical diagnosis.
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Experience and Skills:

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.


  • Successful completion of a bachelor’s or graduate degree from an accredited college of institution that is consistent with the academic standards for dietitians according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics required.
  • Master's degree in Business or Healthcare Administration preferred.
  • Training in delivering effective nutrition education in a group setting required.




  • A minimum of five years of experience as a registered dietician required.
  • A minimum of two years of experience supervising and training registered dieticians required.


Performance Requirements:



  1. Knowledge of theoretical and practical principles related to nutrition and dietetics.
  2. Knowledge of medical terminology, universal precautions and food sanitation/safety procedures, and federal/state regulations related to food preparation, storage, etc.
  3. Knowledge of ethnic eating patterns and cultural customs related to food.
  4. Knowledge of education principles including human behavior and behavior modification techniques and presentation methods.
  5. Knowledge of implementing QI programs, including use of quality improvement methodologies, such as PDSA cycles.


  1. Skill in written and verbal communications.
  2. Skill in nutrition assessment.
  3. Skill in problem-solving and handling crisis situations.
  4. Skill in utilizing behavioral modification techniques to improve patient nutritional status.
  5. Skill in developing and presenting patient/staff/community education workshops.
  6. Skill in basic data analysis.


Licenses and Certifications:

  • Must have current certification as a Registered Dietitian by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Must maintain continuing education as required for certification renewals
  • Must be CPR/ BLS Certified
  • Candidate must be able to successfully meet PHC’s credentialing and privileging requirements
  • Must have or be able to obtain a Food Handling Certification to teach food preparation in demonstration kitchens within 3 months of hire.


Language Skills: Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions and requests from patients, co-workers, and others as necessary. Bilingual in English and Spanish, both written and verbal preferred.


Petaluma Health Center is an equal opportunity employer.


Please apply directly through our career page at