James A. Haley Tampa VA Hospital - Dietetic Internship Program
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Dietetic Internship Program


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James A. Haley Tampa VA Hospital


James A. Haley (Tampa) Veterans' Hospital 

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Anne Brezina Dietetic Internship at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and Clinics in Tampa, Florida. The 42 week internship program provides experiences in Nutrition Therapy, Food Service Management and Community. The program is hospital-based, affording the highest quality of supervised practice. You will see after browsing through our website that our dietetic internship program offers diverse learning experiences which will prepare you for a variety of positions in the field of dietetics.

Some unique qualities about the program that I would like to highlight below:

Evidence-based practice curriculum: The emphasis of the Anne Brezina Dietetic Internship at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital is evidence-based practice. The latest research is applied in our hospital-based program.  Our department has been identified as "best practice" in the areas of utilization of the Nutrition Care Process, Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam and Home Enteral Nutrition. Rotations are offered in all clinical areas, such as cardiology, surgery & intensive care, geriatrics, oncology, medicine, diabetes and rehabilitative medicine including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Additional rotations with emphasis in nutrition counseling at our multiple outpatient clinics and interdisciplinary programs are also completed. These rotations are supplemented with experiences in the community, such as pediatrics, school food service and public health programs. 

Preceptors: We have dedicated staff of very experienced and progressive preceptors. In fact, several of our preceptors have received local and national nutrition association Outstanding Dietetic Preceptor Awards.  Our dietitians have an extended scope of practice including such privileges as order writing. Our small class size of 6 interns means that you will get specialized and individualized attention from the internship director. With the exception of some of our management and community rotations, only one intern is assigned to a preceptor at a time, allowing for maximum attention to your learning experience.

Research: Interns are provided a full week rotation dedicated to practice-based research. Each intern will complete a special project that provides unique opportunities to learn the research process (from protocol creation to final publication). Interns present their project findings at local, state and national meetings.  Many of the special projects have resulted in peer-reviewed publications.

Increased job opportunities: We will assist you in finding employment in the government or in the private sector. With over 140 VA Medical Centers across the country, you will have increased opportunities to work for the VA. The VA is a leader in health care patient safety and has a fully computerized patient record system (CPRS). While the pay for entry-level dietetic positions in the VA varies across the country, within 3 years, most dietitians in the VA earn a greater salary than those who have been working in the private sector for 20 years!
Stipend: Interns in our program receive a stipend, which is paid throughout the course of the internship. 
Please take all of these points into consideration when making your decision of how to rank your internship choices. Should you have any questions after reviewing our entire website, please do not hesitate to contact me at sherri.lewis@va.gov


Sherri Lewis, DCN, RDN, LDN
Director, Anne Brezina Dietetic Internship at the James A. Haley VA Hospital
13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, Fl 33612
sherri.lewis@va.gov or 813-972-2000 x 7027