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Meet Our Dietitians

Mary Beth Russell, RD, LN, CDE

I have 18 years of experience developing others into the healthy person they want to be. I absolutely love my job. I am passionate about my own personal mission for health and wellness and feel it is the key to a long and happy life. I also feel very strongly about the benefits of exercise. I spend a great deal of our free time at the gym working out. In my opinion, a well balanced diet needs to be partnered with a well balanced workout that includes both cardio and weight bearing exercise for overall health. As a registered dietitian I feel it is my mission to meet people where they are at in their wellness journey. I enjoy partnering with them to develop their own personal health goals and then my aim is fulfilled as I guide them on their path to success.

Carri Lucas, RDN, LN

Carri LucasI obtained my B.S. from South Dakota State University; academic major in Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. I was then accepted into a year-long dietetic internship program (with an emphasis in clinical dietetics) through Edward Hines VA Hospital in Hines, IL. After completing the internship program, I was very fortunate to accept a position as a clinical, community, and long-term care dietitian through Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell, SD. I transferred to the Avera Heart Hospital to work in a more specialized environment. I am very passionate about my career as a dietitian and truly enjoy helping others understand the importance of nutrition in everyday life. As the Patient Care Dietitian at AHHSD, I see many patients every day that have very specialized needs. My main goal is to make nutrition interesting, fun, and easier to understand for each and every person that I visit with. We all have individual needs based on our history, age, weight, limitations, allergies, intolerances, physical activity, diagnoses and other factors. I understand the importance of these factors and love sharing that information with my patients/clients. I constantly remind my patients (and myself) that there is always something that we can work to improve on whether it is related to nutrition, physical health, or emotional well-being.

Lauren Cornay, RD, LN

Food plays an important role in everyone's life; impacting our health, evoking emotion as well as affecting budget. I pursued a career in dietetics to help members of my community develop eating and lifestyle habits that not only optimize their health but also allow them to enjoy what they eat. My passions for cooking, baking and physical activity serve me well in my role as a dietitian. I obtained my undergraduate degree at South Dakota State University and completed my dietetic internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I spent four years at Genesis HealthCare Systems in Zanesville, Ohio working primarily in the critical care unit, managing nutrition support. Joining the Avera Heart Hospital team provides me the opportunity to work closely with patients and their families to make the diet and lifestyle changes that can save lives.