Mary_GrizzleMary Harvey Grizzle was like most 18 year-olds entering college. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to major in at school. She tried architecture and realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Since she had an interest in children, she tried her hand at education. That didn’t work either. She thought of nursing but realized she would have to turn away during procedures. It was a high school home economics teacher and sister-in-law who is a registered dietitian that encouraged Grizzle to go into nutrition.

“I liked sciences, biology and anatomy which are things you learn in nutrition,” said Grizzle.

Grizzle earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Auburn in 1985 and then took her dietetic internship in UAB’s Department of Nutrition Sciences. A year later, she took a job as an assistant director of the dietetic department at Medical Center East and quickly realized she didn’t like the administration side.

“I’m an Indian not a chief,” said Grizzle. “I like being in the trenches and being a part of a teaching hospital.”

She finally found her match as a clinical dietitian at South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile. She was able to combine her love for children and nutrition. Grizzle works closely in pediatrics to improve the nutrition of patients with diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

“I feel like I make a difference,” said Grizzle. “We see all the time the changes made to their nutrition plan can have a direct affect on their lung functions improving. That’s pretty powerful when you see that happen.”

She said she wouldn’t trade working for a teaching hospital. About four UAB dietetic interns come to Mobile every year to learn from her and the staff.

“My input makes a difference,” said Grizzle. “And I know they are getting the best training at UAB and here in Mobile.”