We love sharing the stories of the providers who use Healthie to help their businesses grow. Meet Healthie community member and co-founder of Lemond Nutrition, Angela Lemond, RDN, CSP, LD. Here, Angela shares her journey of growing a successful, multi-practitioner private practice outside of Dallas, Texas.
Healthie: Tell us about yourself and what influenced your decision to become a dietitian.
Angela: This is actually my second career. My first career was in corporate marketing. My marketing career was hitting some dead ends, and I had just gotten married. This gave me the opportunity to pursue a different career path — a path that was consistent with my passion for health.
As most of us do, I went through my own personal nutrition journey. After quitting smoking at 18 years old (yes, I smoked cigarettes from age 12 to 18), I decided to get healthy. I started working out and started reading about nutrition. This was back in the 1990s and, for those that remember, it was all about fat-free everything. We didn’t have the internet back then, but all the articles I read were about fat being bad so I developed this functional disorder about eating fat and it going to my thighs. I got more into the fad diet culture, and in my 20s, I took up running. I still wasn’t eating much fat, so running 25-30 miles per week left me constantly hungry. It was this cycle of working out and eating, but never fully feeling satisfied.
So at 29 years old, I quit my marketing manager position and went back to school full-time. I have never looked back! Now that I am educated in science, I see the fallacy of my fat-free obsession and now I see it going on with carbohydrates. My own experience has given me the empathy to walk others through their journey to proper nutrition.
Healthie: How is your business different today than what you expected when you first started working?
Angela: I actually started working in a pediatric hospital after becoming a dietitian in 2004. After having my 2nd child and having to commute up to 90 minutes to work, I realized that I needed to do something different. In 2009, I launched my private practice.
At that time, I was completely by myself without office staff or other dietitians. I was doing very well with income and an influx of patients, but I got to a point where I was completely overwhelmed with being the one to book the appointments, remind people about their appointments, see patients, chart, and then find time to do community outreach and marketing. I knew it was time to hire help.
Also, when I first started, insurance did not cover many of our services in Texas. Now, it has completely changed. Our state gets great coverage for most of the major insurance companies.
Healthie: What influenced your decision to accept insurance?
Angela: I actually attended a Texas entrepreneur meeting and a fellow private practice dietitian asked why people did not take insurance in their practice. My answer was simple: “I do not have the time or patience it takes to get on those insurance panels and file insurance.” That same dietitian took me aside later and offered her manager to sub contract services to get me setup. That’s how it all started, and that was around 2011.
Healthie: What’s 1 piece of advice you wish someone had told you before you started your business?
Angela: Allow your life purpose to drive your plan. Of course, we all want to make a nice living, and that’s a given. But in my own experience and in observation of others that are successful, you will be successful if you create your own unique brand that complements who you are as a person. When things get tough, remember why you do what you do, and that will keep you going.
Healthie: You now have 6 other dietitians working at Lemond Nutrition. How did you know it was time to expand your practice and hire other dietitians to work with you?
Angela: I knew that I did not want to see patients more than 3 days per week while my children were young. However, the influx of appointment requests was exceeding my ability to get people in without a 1-month+ wait.
Hiring other dietitians was a big leap for me because I had built my brand and reputation so the community (doctors, other health professionals, parents, etc.) trusted me. I had to be very careful about who would be added to my brand so that they carried the same mission and vision. That is still what I do to this day. It’s not about filling a spot; it’s about expanding the care you think the community needs and deserves.
Healthie: How do you think technology is changing your business and the field of nutrition?
Angela: We can now provide better care in more efficient ways. It’s a win-win for both the practitioner and the client. I think back on the days when I used paper charts and very inefficient charting forms that took me 45 minutes to fill out. Now, all of our charting is online. We’re nearly paperless, and our patients/clients can access us with the click of the button.
We’ve launched our telehealth services this month using the Healthie platform, and I cannot wait to see how many more people we can impact as a result.
Healthie: What’s 1 piece of advice you have for nutrition students or dietetic interns?
Angela: Never burn a bridge, and go above and beyond for what is asked of you. Volunteer in the profession to make our profession better. Those are the students that stand out to me over the many years I’ve been a preceptor, and those are the ones I look for when I want to expand — or refer others to when they are looking for extraordinary dietitians.
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