Mother and daughter gardening together

Nutritional Services

Food is one of the great pleasures in life, and it's at the center of many of our celebrations with friends and family. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your body, as it reduces your chances of developing heart disease, cancer obesity, osteoporosis, stroke, anemia, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also gives you the energy to do the things you enjoy.

The Nutrition Therapy Department located at UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) offers a variety of services and programs from registered dietitian nutritionists to keep you healthy.

We have dietitians who offer the experience and expertise that will help you build a healthy lifestyle. In addition to focusing on our inpatient population, the dietitians also offer a variety of outpatient services.

Meet Our Registered Dietitians

Lily Swedenhjelm, MS, RDN, LD and Michelle Brennan, RDN, LD, enjoy helping patients implement a nutrition plan specific to their individual needs and introducing them to fun, budget friendly recipes they can make at home. 

Areas of focus for Swedenhjelm and Brennan include, but are not limited too: 

  • Inpatient medical nutrition therapy
  • Outpatient counseling
  • Bariatric and metabolic surgery
  • Weight management
  • Cardiac and pulmonary rehab
  • Community outreach via classes and presentations

Lily Swedenhjelm, MS, RDN, LDLily Swedenhjelm, MS, RDN, LD

Swedenhjelm has been with GRMC for 8 years. She received her undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and completed her dietetic internship through Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee. She furthered her education and received her Masters of Science in Applied Nutrition through the University of New England in Maine.



Michelle Brennan, RDN, LDMichelle Brennan, RDN, LD

Brennan has been with GRMC for 3 years. She received her undergraduate degree at College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey and completed her dietetic internship through Sodexo in Pennsylvania.



Cooking with our Clinical Dietitians

Healthy, delicious, budget-friendly recipes at your fingertips. Click here to view, download and print our cookbook! Recipes will be added each month. 

August's Recipes: Avocado Corn Salsa and Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats.

Individual Nutrition Counseling

The Nutrition Therapy Department offers one-on-one nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Physician referrals are required and can be faxed to the dietitians at (641) 236-2044.

Educational Classes

When it comes to chronic disease, the Nutrition Therapy Department understands the health care needs and challenges that you face on a daily basis. Our registered dietitians offer educational opportunities to learn more about how you can help manage your health with your overall eating pattern.

  • Eating with Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Classes: Free two-hour program that covers basic information about carbohydrates and a healthy eating pattern for diabetes. Great for someone who is newly diagnosed with pre-diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, or anyone who is looking for a refresher on carbohydrate counting.

  • Diabetes Support Group: The group meets the second Monday night of the odd months of the year. It is free and open to the public. Each meeting covers a different diabetes-related topic. 

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Nutrition Class: This class is offered to all patients who participate in our Cardiac Rehabilitation program. This class covers topics to help you find ways to incorporate heart-healthy eating into your lifestyle.

  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation Nutrition Class: This class is offered to all patients who participate in our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. This class covers topics related to healthy eating in the setting of pulmonary disease.

  • Community/Worksite Wellness Presentations: The dietitian can prepare nutrition-related presentations or booths for your community event or health fair. Please contact dietitians to inquire about availability.