Sherry Mahoney is the enterprise clinical nutrition manager at Mayo Clinic, where she was previously director of nutrition and dietetic internship for 17 years.
Can you please tell us about your background?
I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, married and have two daughters. I worked at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and moved to Jacksonville to take my job at Mayo Clinic 23 years ago. I have a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and a Master of Business Administration. Through my career, I have had particular interests in oncology, diabetes and organ transplant. While at Mayo Clinic, I have been able to promote wellness in our community by working with various nonprofit organizations and citywide corporations. I have recently begun using my leadership and organization skills to help Latin American communities have clean water and sanitation.
What are your primary roles and responsibilities at Mayo Clinic?
I had been the director of nutrition and dietetic internship for 17 years at Mayo Clinic. A few months ago, I was promoted to an enterprise role managing the Mayo Clinic’s clinical nutrition as it relates to the food programs across all of the Mayo Clinic sites. My responsibility is to assure Mayo Clinic nutrition practices and standards are alike on all campuses.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Mayo Clinic’s three shields represent patient care, education and research. Each day, my staff and I contribute to these shields. Mayo Clinic allows for us to have the resources necessary to contribute to each of the shields. I am proud to be part of this world-class organization.
What has it been like to be part of the growth of Mayo Clinic?
As Mayo Clinic has grown, so has the depth and breadth of nutrition science. My responsibility has been to develop nutrition programs and practices to provide the best care to our patients.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about nutrition today?
Due to technology, there is an enormous amount of food and nutrition information available. People unfortunately are inundated with unsubstantiated information as truths. An example of this is the practice of intentionally consuming a very low carbohydrate diet or from poor dietary habits consuming large amounts of carbohydrate. In mid-August, a 25-year study was published with 15,428 participants indicating lowest mortality was associated with 50 to 55 percent energy from carbohydrates.
What do you enjoy most about living in Ponte Vedra?
Ponte Vedra is a community that is small enough to know your neighbors and people who have similar interests. People are friendly and care about each other. They also care about the wellbeing of those outside our community. I have witnessed and been part of our Ponte Vedra community coming together for the betterment of others.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I had the good fortune of being the team captain of the Mayo Clinic Cycling Team for 20 years. Needless to say, I have met many people at Mayo Clinic and our community because of cycling. Fifteen years ago, I started doing triathlons with my women friends. We evolved into a group of 12 women, calling ourselves the Tribe, who still on most Saturdays either cycle, run/walk or swim. I commit to at least two triathlons a year.
In the last few years, I committed to use my time and talents to make a difference for those less fortunate. I became a member of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach five years ago. Through Rotary, I have been able to join forces with other members to reach out and make a difference.
For a video portion of this interview, visit pontevedrarecorder.com and click One of Us.