North Oaks Health System Dietetic Internship Program Completes 29th Class | Livingston/Tangipahoa

North Oaks Health System dietetic internship faculty and staff honored nine graduates for completing the program on June 16.

Director of Human Resources Jeff Jarreau presided over the launch ceremonies, which took place at the E. Brent Dufreche Conference Center on the campus of North Oaks Medical Center.

Graduates include Kathleen Bachman, Drake Fontenot, Madison Guidry, Madison Loewe, Miriam Lopez, Peyton Mercola, Brooke McVey, Carolyn Reed and Eleanor Spiller.

Two graduates were awarded.

McVey received the Mary Nelson Award from the program’s faculty in recognition of her desire to learn, dedication to the profession, and high professional standards.

Bachman was selected by her peers to receive the Dannye Young Taylor “Always Remembering Others” Award in recognition of her selfless assistance to others. Now retired, Taylor was a longtime patient advocate for the North Oaks Health System. The award was created in her honor by her husband, Dr. Rodney Taylor.

Bachman also received the Carol Bertrand Achievement Award. The award was established in memory of the late Bertrand, who was a registered dietitian, advocate for the dietetic profession and a graduate of North Oaks’ second class dietetic internship. The faculty chose Bachman for her essay on the potential of registered dietitians to play a role in public policy related to medical nutrition therapy.

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Ann McDaniel-Hall was guest speaker. A registered dietitian and former director of nutrition services at North Oaks, McDaniel-Hall retired from the healthcare system in February 2022 after 44 years of service.

In her speech, she stressed the importance of first jobs for the success of all careers.

“Your first job lays the foundation for your career, so set high work standards, maintain a positive attitude, and be grateful for the opportunity to learn all you can from those around you – including what’s don’t do,” McDaniel-Hall advised. “Be a team player, solution-oriented and strive to make a contribution every day.”

The degrees were presented by North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program Director, Leslie Ballard.

Since 1994, the North Oaks Dietetic Internship Program has offered qualified individuals the opportunity to qualify for the Dietitian Registration Examination through one year of supervised experience.

For more information about the North Oaks Dietetic Internship, contact the program office at (985) 230-6548 or visit “Join Our Team” at

Ryan H. Bowman