Samford University’s dietetic internship is distinctive in its focus on community nutrition. Positioned in the School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, the internship requires students to complete a seven-week community nutrition rotation as a part of the year-long program.
Sara Farmer, a current dietetic intern, completed her community nutrition rotation with the Jefferson County Department of Health and the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama earlier this year, and her experience was made richer with the opportunity to work at the Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama, the only human milk bank in the state.
Connected to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, the Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama collects, processes and facilitates the distribution of human milk to local and regional hospitals. During her rotation, Farmer spent one day each week working at the milk bank, and she experienced every step in their process—from donation to pasteurization to distribution.
“Samford’s dietetic internship is amazing because we get to experience so many different areas of nutrition,” Farmer said. “I want to pursue a career in the community nutrition setting, so it was exciting to work at the Mother’s Milk Bank and experience such a unique area in our field.”
Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama serves an important public health need, caring for the nutritional needs of premature and critically ill infants.
“As dietitians, we know that breast milk is the preferred method of feeding an infant, and I’m thrilled that Sara had the opportunity to gain experience at the milk bank to see this first hand,” said Mim Gaines, assistant professor and director of Samford’s dietetic internship program. “I know her professionalism and dedication will open doors for the dietetic interns who come behind her.”