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Ohio Native joins UNHS as Dietitian - Medically Speaking, Volume Two, Number Two, 8/21/2014

Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. must be doing something right in its recruiting efforts, to attract a rabid Cleveland Cavaliers fan away from her home, in Ohio, just when LeBron James announced his return.

Lauren Hannibal was born and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and admits to being a fan of 'Cleveland everything,' including the prodigal son, King James.

"He went back to Cleveland the week we got here," Hannibal said of James' return to the Cavaliers.

The 26-year-old Ohio native graduated from the University of Akron in May with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She started working as a Dietitian for UNHS in late June. Lauren said she learned about the job with UNHS through an online web site and applied. She had the job lined up, before she graduated, and grabbed her road map just after she received her diploma and passed the national registry exam.

"Originally I was going to school for nursing and it was not exactly what I wanted to do, but I started taking the course work. I loved physiology. Then I started getting into nutrition and I started looking at different majors that I could do. Focusing more on nutrition and dietetics was the fit.

So how has the girl from Ohio been getting along in the high desert country of San Juan County?

"It's been different. I realized once here I was more of a city girl and not a country girl. The hardest thing would be being away from friends and family," she explained. "But as far as getting used to living here it is driving an hour to Cortez for groceries and things like that. I'm not used to driving so far, and through canyons. I don't miss the traffic though.

"I went to Monument Valley yesterday and I love that drive. It's so pretty. I'm not sure if I will ever get used to being able to see for miles and miles. There's nothing but trees back home.

"When we got here it was so dry and we felt like we were shriveling up like raisins. We had to get nasal spray and eye drops. We're used to it now, but that first week was tough," she said.

Lauren admits she misses having the huge number of places to eat there were in Cleveland, but she says the people in the community are just wonderful. They are really inviting and fun.

"There's just so much to do out here. We're surrounded by National Parks and there's so much exploring to do," she added.

Lauren loves the job, especially because it is in the field she chose to pursue, and she likes the people she works with. She looks forward to being part of the UNHS family. We're glad to have Lauren with us. Go Cavaliers! And Browns!

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