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Fearless Practitioners

May 7, 2019

Today's episode is with guest Ayla Shaw about building a practice after a natural disaster.

Building a Practice After a DisasterCould you imagine starting a private practice after a natural disaster?! Alya Shaw did just that and rocked it out! She shares her story of how she has been able to build a practice in the face of a natural disaster.

Along with building her practice she is also the ONLY dietitian on the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and she shares how location can be your niche.

Alya continues to think outside the box and shares her journey with us in this episode.


Ayla Shaw, MS RDN is currently the only board certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in private practice on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Originally from the state of Georgia, Ayla completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia in Statistics. After working for several years as a catastrophe risk analyst, she decided to return to school and pursue a career in nutrition. She obtained her Master' degree in Nutrition at Georgia State University before traveling to Connecticut to complete her dietetic internship focused in clinical nutrition at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Upon finishing her internship, Ayla moved to the Virgin Islands and began working as a clinical dietitian covering all inpatient services at Schneider Regional Medical Center in St. Thomas. She was living on St. Thomas and working at the hospital when Hurricane Irma hit in the Virgin Islands on September 6th, 2017.

Today, she owns and operates Island RDN, a nutrition consulting company that offers outpatient counseling through several locations on island. Additionally, Ayla works as a consultant and freelance food and health writer. When she is not working she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog, Dobby.

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[click_to_tweet tweet="How do you re-build after a natural disaster? @islandrdn tells us how she started her practice after Hurricane Irma and used all her networking skills to level up! @AdrienPaczosa #FearlessPractitioners #Podcast" quote="How do you re-build after a natural disaster? @islandrdn tells us how she started her practice after Hurricane Irma and used all her networking skills to level up! @AdrienPaczosa #FearlessPractitioners #Podcast"]


  • Building a practice after a disaster.
  • Niching based on your location.
  • Using networking skills to level up.
  • Working with referring providers to becoming a part of their care plan.

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