Meet the Nutrition Center Team
The expert staff at our Nutrition Center are here to ensure that you receive a personalized approach to improving your lifestyle and reaching your overall health goals.
Brianna Hanekom, BSN, RN, CDE
Brianna Hanekom, BSN, RN, CDE, is the Clinical Program Manager for the Nutrition and Diabetes Education Center at Jefferson Health in New Jersey. A 2008 graduate of Rutger's University, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with a minor in Psychology, and was a member of the International Honor Society in Psychology - Psi Chi. Brianna realized she found her niche in diabetes education after accepting a job as a Pediatric Diabetes Educator and receiving her certification in Diabetes Education.
With a personal history of Type 1 Diabetes of over 30 years, Brianna is enthusiastic in sharing with others that is possible to be in control of your diabetes and lead a fulfilling life. In her free time, she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, rowing with the Rutger's Alumni Crew team, and spending time with her dogs.
Jessica Hugle-Foster is the health coach for the Nutrition Center at Jefferson Health in New Jersey. Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rowan University, where she specialized in Health Promotion and Fitness Management. At Rowan, Jessica also earned her certification in Motivational Interviewing for the purposes of facilitating health behavior change. She is also a certified Health Coach and has a specialization in Behavior Change through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). For the last fifteen years, Jessica has had a health and wellness-focused career that has included practicing as a state licensed and nationally certified massage therapist, providing wellness education to various groups in the South Jersey area, as well as lifestyle coaching.
Jessica is passionate about helping people change their behaviors in order to achieve their fullest potential so they can live their best lives. Outside of her passion for empowering change, Jessica loves the arts (especially movies, theatre and museums) and enjoys dancing West Coast swing with her husband.
Sara Madden, RD
Sara Madden, RD, is a 2019 Maxima Cum Laude graduate from LaSalle University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship with Jefferson Health and Temple University Hospital. Sara is a Registered Dietitian under the Commission of Dietetic Registration and joined Jefferson Health as a Nutrition Education Specialist. Sara also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. Sara is committed to helping others and loves working one on one with patients to improve their quality of life. In addition to her passion for all things food and nutrition, Sara keeps active with her love for the outdoors, travel, yoga, and her two dogs.
Melissa Parisi, RD
Melissa Parisi, RD, is a 2019 Summa Cum Laude graduate from the Rutgers School of Health Professions program, a Registered Dietitian through the Commission on Dietetic Registration, and Nutrition Education Specialist. Originally obtaining a bachelor's degree in Advertising from Rowan University and working in television for five years, Melissa decided to make a career change into the Nutrition and Dietetics field in order to pursue her passion of helping others build healthier lifestyles through a “food first” approach whenever possible. She has been employed in the nutrition field since 2016 and is now working towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. Melissa hopes to inspire patients in realizing that no change is too small when it comes to improving diet and overall health.
Melissa Wadolowski, RD, LDN, CHC
Melissa Wadolowski, RD, LDN, CHC, a 2011 Cum Laude graduate of Queens College, Flushing, NY is a Nutrition Education Specialist, Registered Dietitian under the Commission of Dietetic Registration and a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. Melissa completed her dietetic internship with Sodexo in Philadelphia, PA. She has been with the Jefferson nutrition team since 2016 and earned her Certified Health Coach credential in January of 2017. Melissa is a believer in lifelong learning and loves different forms of patient engagement including leading lectures, educational classes, group activities and one-on-one patient counseling. Melissa is currently working on attaining her CDE credential and is interested in promoting mindfulness, healthy living and patient empowerment through knowledge and practice.
Meet the Bariatric Surgery Nutrition Team
Cheri R. Leahy, RDN, CSOWM
Cheri Leahy, RDN is the Director of Nutrition for Bariatric Surgery at Jefferson Health in New Jersey. A passionate nutritionist and health expert, Cheri earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, and completed a graduate program and clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. Certified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Cheri has presented nutrition and wellness seminars nationally and authored a cookbook titled, “Portion 8.”
Cheri has spent much of her career in bariatric surgery and weight management nutrition, and is an associate member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Cheri believes in the power of food to optimize health and wellness, prevent disease and maximize the way you look and feel. Her areas of special interest include adult and adolescent weight management and eating disorders.