St. James Mercy Health System, Hornell NY
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  Nutrition Counseling Services
St. James Mercy Hospital

Medical Nutrition Therapy at St. James Mercy Hospital

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a nutritional approach to managing medical conditions conducted by a Registered and Certified Dietitian. It is not about dieting; it is about managing your special needs through a healthy approach to lifestyle and eating habits.

Healthy Eating during the Holidays Interview
Listen to a radio interview about Healthy Eating during the Holidays with Erika Zerkowski, registered dietician, on Kickin’ Country WKPQ with T.J. Sharp (with helpful websites and apps).

.   1. Healthy eating during the holidays interview with T.J. Sharp on Cool 97. (mp3) Dec 17, 2014

2. Healthy eating during the holidays interview with Dave Pal on Cool 97. (mp3) Nov 18, 2014

Do you have...

  • Food allergies?
  • High blood sugar?
  • 25 pounds or more of extra weight?
  • Kidney disease?
  • Digestive problems?
  • A catabolic disease like cancer or AIDS and have trouble maintaining weight?
  • High cholesterol?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may benefit from Medical Nutrition Therapy.

What will Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) do for you?
The dietitian, using Medical Nutrition Therapy, will help you in the following areas:

  • Nutrition modifications to fit your lifestyle
  • Reading food labels
  • Healthy cooking tips
  • Locating resources
  • Guidelines for eating out
  • Nutrition therapy for your special needs

Who qualifies for Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medicare Part B Beneficiaries

  • Our outpatient dietitian is a registered Medicare provider.
  • Medicare Part B beneficiaries with a diagnosis of diabetes or non-dialysis kidney disease are eligible.
  • Medicare Part B reimburses three hours of nutrition therapy for the first year and two hours each year afterward.
  • A referral from your primary care physician with approved diagnoses is required to participate in medical nutrition therapy.
  • Appropriate lab work from your doctor’s office must be received before your first scheduled appointment.

Insurance and Referral

  • Obtain a physicians referral if required by your insurance company for outpatient medical nutrition therapy at St James Mercy Hospital.

  • Insurance coverage varies depending on type of insurance and benefit package. Before scheduling a consultation, please check with your insurance company to confirm the extent of your coverage. Some participants may be required to cover the costs themselves. You are responsible for all charges not covered by your insurance. If you have any further questions, please contact our Financial Counseling Services Department at (607) 324-8030 to assist with payment arrangements.


  • We offer convenient day and evening appointments to meet your scheduling needs. Please have your doctor fill out a nutrition referral form and fax to St. James Mercy Hospital’s central scheduling office at (607) 324-8221. If you have questions or need help obtaining a referral from your doctor please call Erika Zerkowski MS, RD, CDN at (607) 324-8172.

  • SJMH Medical Nutrition Therapy Referral form (PDF)

The Medical Nutrition Therapy office is located on the ground floor of the hospital next to the cafeteria.

Erika Zerkowski, MS RD CDN, Clinical Nutrition Manager

Erika Clark Ms. Erika Zerkowski, MS RD CDN completed her Masters of Science degree from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, in Clinical Nutrition. She is also a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her work has focused in the areas of health and nutrition for the behavioral health, geriatric, and renal patient. She has worked on multiple community nutrition health projects and task forces within western New York. Ms. Zerkowski’s work has included providing guidance and direction on large scale community feeding programs during emergencies in the Buffalo, NY area. Most recently she developed a year-long group training program on healthy meals and food selections for the lower income and "at risk" populations within rural Steuben County. As a Sodexo registered dietitian, Erika is currently assigned as the Clinical Nutrition Manager at St. James Mercy Hospital, overseeing all aspect of the clinical nutritional care programs.

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St. James Mercy Health
411 Canisteo Street
Hornell, NY 14843
(607) 324-8000

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St. James Mercy Health System includes St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell, NY and serves Steuben Co. and the surrounding region

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