Board of Directors 2021

Amber Smith, MS, RDN, LDN


I am originally from California, received my B.S from CSU Chico and completed my Masters/Dietetic Internship at Rush University Medical center in Chicago where I now work as a Clinical Dietitian in the surgical & surgical oncology units. I am currently helping to develop a nutrition protocol in our ERAS ENT population. I have been a part of Caspen for 3 years. In my free time I enjoy cooking, running, dabbling in the Chicago food scene, spending time outdoors and traveling.

Stephanie Send, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC

Past President

Leah Cerwinske, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC


This is my fifth year as a CASPEN board member. Currently, I am on the nutrition support team at Northwestern in Chicago! I manage both inpatient and outpatient TPN, as well as complex enteral nutrition patients. I love my unique role and being able to work as a member of a multidisciplinary team. I received my BS from Michigan State University and my MS/DI from Rush University Medical Center. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, getting out in nature, and am on a constant mission to find the best tacos in Chicago!

I am an inpatient dietitian at Rush University Medical Center working in the NICU, general pediatrics unit, and PICU. While I love number crunching and writing/prescribing PN for my babies and kiddos, my favorite part of working in the NICU is collaborating as part of a team. I enjoy attending daily rounds, working on quality improvement projects, and working with our team to ensure the best possible outcomes for my patients. I am a self-proclaimed foodie and enjoy trying new restaurants across the city and snuggling with my husky!!!

Jessica Moehling, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC

Program Co-Chair

Danielle Hom, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC 

Program Co-Chair

Courtney Susterich, MS, RDN, LDN

Program Co-Chair

I am a Registered Dietitian at The University of Chicago Medicine. I work primarily in the cardiac ICU as well as on some cardiac step-down/general medicine floors. I also teach nutrition classes to cardiac rehab patients on the outpatient side. I received my Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from of Rush University Medical Center, where I also completed my Dietetic Internship. I have a love for food and am constantly trying new recipes, especially delicious baked goods.


I am currently an inpatient dietitian at Northwesern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. I am originally from Boston, MA and completed my B.S. at Boston University. I moved to Chicago 3 years ago for the coordinated MS/DI program at Rush University Medical Center. I am going into my second year as part of the CASPEN Programs Committee, which is responsible for planning seminars and seeking out sponsors for continuing education events. In my free time I love going to new coffee shops and restaurants, cooking, traveling, and exercising!


I am currently an inpatient clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center working primarily with post-surgical patients and general neurology patients. I also manage TPN and cross-cover the medical, surgical, and neurosciences ICU. I am originally from Michigan and completed my B.S. at Michigan State University and my Masters/Dietetic Internship at Rush University of Medical Center. This is my second year being on the board of CASPEN, specifically as a Program Co-Chair. In my free time I enjoy cooking, traveling and spending time with my family and friends.

Alex Virlee

Communications Co-Chair

Chelsea Furlan, RD, LDN, CNSC

Communications Co-Chair

Sarah Steinmetz, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC


I am a nutrition support dietitian at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. I love being a part of an interdisciplinary team; working along side doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and so many other practitioners allows me to learn something new from my team everyday. I received my BS at U of I in Champaign-Urbana and completed my dietetic internship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. When I am not writing TPN, I love to read, cook, practice yoga, and explore new restaurants in the city!

I am a pediatric dietitian and born and raised Chicagoan. I completed my BS at UIUC followed by my MS/DI at Rush University Medical Center. As an inpatient/ nutrition support dietitian at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, I discovered my passion for caring for patients with pulmonary conditions. I also developed an interest in home and commercial blenderized tube feeds. I moved back to Chicago during COVID, and am excited to be a first-time board member of CASPEN. In my free time I enjoy barre, tennis, and exploring local art and food scenes. 

Natalie Ratz, MS, RDN, CSP, CNSC, LDN


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I am an inpatient clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center working primarily in the PICU and general pediatric floors, also working in the NICU for weekends and holidays. I have covered every unit at Rush and used to manage adult TPN patients. I am from Michigan and completed my B.S. at Michigan State University and my Masters/Dietetic Internship at Rush University of Medical Center. I can’t count how many years that I have been in CASPEN (25?). I am a mom to 17 yo twin boys. Besides trying help my kids head to college, I enjoy yoga, cooking and traveling.

Directors at Large 2021

Mary Russell, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND

Director at Large, Education 

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Other Directors at Large:

Advocacy: Sarah Peterson, PhD, RD, LDN, CNSC 

Clinical Practice: Christina Bourikas, PharmD, BCNSP

Research: Timothy Sentongo, MD

I am a Medical Science Liaison, U.S. Hospital Products Medical Affairs, at Baxter Healthcare and a lecturer at the Chicago Medical School. Earlier, I was director of the department of clinical nutrition at the University of Chicago Medical Center, the director of nutrition services at Duke University Hospital, a member of the Duke adult nutrition support team and the trauma/surgery/GI  team, a clinical dietitian in NJ, and a medical technologist in WI.

I have had the privilege of serving CASPEN as a Director at large for several years. I’ve been ASPEN member for 30 years, and served ASPEN on the Board of Directors and as a member or chair of a number of committees.

I am currently immediate past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a longtime volunteer with the Academy at the DNS DPG, national, and NC state and district levels.

My Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology is from Marquette University, and Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I completed a dietetic internship at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics.

I love Chicago architectural tours, walking along the lakefront, trying new recipes, and mentoring.