Natasha Morgan (centre) with Deerwood Creek dietary team. Natasha was awarded with the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management 2022 Mentor Award
Excelling in track and field instilled more than just ambition in Natasha Crystal Morgan. Training and competing allowed her to develop leadership and mentorship skills from a young age. Today, she is the nutrition manager at Deerwood Creek Care Community. She is also responsible for overseeing nutrition student placements in the home. The Canadian Society of Nutrition Management recently recognized Natasha with the Mentor Award.
At one time, Natasha was one of Ontario's fastest female hurdlers. But she was also part of a team, which is why she has such a strong desire to teach and see people grow.
"My positive energy and compassion for people make me a good leader," says Natasha. "As a mentor, I always remember the first day of my student placement and its positive impact on me."
Natasha is committed to accepting as many student placements as possible and providing them with a rich experience. She remembers how nervous she was on the first day of her placement and the difference it made when she received a warm welcome. In the end, what made her experience memorable was how her manager treated her right from the get-go, just like a staff member.
"Coming out of the Food and Nutrition Management program, I knew I wanted to be that person to assist and counsel people with their nutritional needs," says Natasha. "Food is something people need, want and enjoy, and nothing warms someone's heart more than good food."
Food is an essential aspect of life in long-term care, so Natasha knows that her team's work is critical. But the element of her work that brings them the most satisfaction is when everyone around her is having a good day.
"When things are tough, I use the visualization strategies that helped me in competition," says Natasha. "I picture the outcome I want, see myself clearing the hurdles, winning the race and evening doing the victory dance – you have to see yourself winning."