President’s Message

April Showers Bring… Well, I am still giddy from all the energy at the 2019 MS Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MS-AND) annual meeting. It was great to see so many of you at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl. For those of you who attended, you will receive a link to the presentations soon. The theme of this year’s conference was Expanding Your Horizons and there were plenty of opportunities to learn new information, ask follow up questions and network with our peers.

The Alabama Dietetic Association challenged MS-AND to raise at least $400 at our conference. We accepted that challenge, and we exceeded it. We raised $404.80 for ANDPAC and $429.81 for the Academy Foundation – that is $833.61 from your generous support that will go forward to support our profession through advocacy and education. MS-AND then passed that challenge forward to the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Arkansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to each raise at least $600 during their annual conferences.

Check out the article below for more information and to see pictures from this year’s conference. I feel like I have 20/20 vision for our 2020 conference because I know incoming President-elect, Heather White will organize another stellar meeting next year.

MS-AND member Elise Smith is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Political Action Committee Vice Chair. On March 20, Mrs. Smith, Pepin Tuma (The Academy’s Director of Regulatory Affairs) and Nate Stritzinger (The Academy’s Coordinator Grassroots Advocacy) visited the Mississippi offices of many of our national legislators to help them understand dietitians’ roles in the health and wellbeing of Mississippians. They also asked our national legislators to support the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. (please read the article below about the two open Action Alerts). Since their visit, Senator Cindy Hide-Smith has signed on to co-sponsor this bill. Thank you for your work Elise Smith, Pepin Tuma and Nate Stritzinger!

These April showers help me think about a time of transition. I know I’m a bit of a goober, but after months of watching my strawberry plants grow, the rain and warmer weather has (FINALLY) produced ripe fruit. You, our membership, has helped our association move forward by passing a new set of bylaws last month. This affiliate is in the process of transitioning from a district structure to a regional setup.  Next month, we will install our new 2019-2020 Board of Directors. I have thoroughly enjoyed, and I know I have also grown so much, during my service with this association. I look forward to the seeing the continued progress we will make.

Enjoy this National Garden month! Visit a local garden, farmers market or produce stand and appreciate all the growth that is going on all around us.


Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD
2018-2019 MS Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President

The Time to Act is NOW!

The Academy’s Action Center has two Action Alerts open. STOP what you are doing right now and log onto the Action Center:

It will only take a few minutes for you to contact our National Senators, Cindy Hide-Smith and Roger Wicker, as well as your National Representative and ask them to support the (1) Treat and Reduce Obesity Act as well as (2) Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act of 2019. The Academy makes it so easy – all you have to do is enter your email address and zipcode. The database pulls your national legislators and a letter has already been composed for you. You are welcome (and encouraged) to add additional information, but it is not necessary.

The bipartisan Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2019 (H.R.1530, S.595) will allow a registered dietitian nutritionist or other qualified healthcare practitioner to independently provide intensive behavioral counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries with obesity and facilitate beneficiaries’ access to treatment options.

The bipartisan Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act removes barriers to Medicare beneficiaries’ access to Diabetes Self-Management Training and creates opportunities for RDNs to provide effective nutrition care services. The bill will allow RDNs to administer same-day DSMT and MNT services to patients and allow for an additional 6 hours of DSMT per year beyond the initial 10 hours covered by Medicare.

Please contact if you have any questions or concerns.

Mississippi Dietitians – Our Horizons are Expanded

We don’t mean to brag (too much), but if you were not at the 2019 MS Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting you missed A LOT! Click here to see pictures from all of the events.

Thursday, March 21 started with our annual business meeting. We heard:

  • updates our affiliate, including our financial report,
  • the process of our affiliate transitioning from districts to regions,
  • the March 29, 2019 approval of our new bylaws,
  • Our expansion of adding of our Diversity Liaison, Qula Madkin,
  • the 2019-2020 MS-AND Elected Board of Directors, the importance
  • MS-AND 2019 Capitol Day
  • MS-AND website ( and Facebook (@MSANandD)

Then the sessions started after the business meeting. On Thursday, these included a variety of sessions from leaders in wellness, holistic nutrition, policy, advocacy, diabetes, and the gut microbiome. Thursday’s lunch was open, allowing us to visit with the many informative vendors. These included:

  • Nutrition Systems
  • The Dairy Alliance
  • DayTwo
  • Abbott Nutrition
  • Bordon
  • James C. Kennedy Wellness Center
  • Healthcare Services Group
  • Nutricia
  • OP2 Labs
  • Simply Thick
  • Mississippi Public Health Institute
  • Mississippi Public Health Institute

Thursday concluded with a member reception and poster presentation at Table 100 in Flowood. Members were able to network and receive an additional hour of continuing education by visiting the professional education posters.

Friday morning started off with a welcome from our President-elect, Brady Taylor. We launched right into the first plenary session on Functional Medicine Approaches to Managing Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity. This was followed by two hours of breakout session. Our 2019 Awards Presentation took place during lunch. The 2019 awardees included:

  • Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award – Brady B. Taylor, RDN, LD
  • Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award – Laura Ewoldt, MS, RD, LD
  • Emerging Dietetic Leader Award – Sarah S. Busby, MS, RDN
  • Outstanding Dietetics Student of the Year – Coordinated Program – Anna Myers
  • Outstanding Dietetics Student of the Year – Didactic Program in Dietetics – Betsy Redfern
  • Outstanding Dietetics Student of the Year – Dietetic Internship – Bridget Casserly
  • Outstanding Dietetics Educator of the Year – Coordinated Program: Ensley A. Howell, PhD, RD, LD
  • Magnolia Award – Anne Travis, MBA

We went back to breakout sessions after the awards ceremony. Our conference wrapped up with a presentation on Fasting Diets.

We know your vision is clear and will want to attend our 2020 conference. Keep a look out for information on date and location, to be announced soon.

House of Delegates Spring 2019 Meeting


The Spring 2019 HOD Virtual Meeting was held on March 30-31, 2019. The overall topic discussed was Consumer Awareness and Changing Drivers of Food Choices. The focus on the dialogue was the relevance of sustainability to consumer food choices and the role of nutrition and dietetics practitioners in guiding these choices through evidence-based practice and communications. These issues were explored through the areas of education and training, practice, and research. The HOD Workbooks are being shared with the Academy Foundation’s Fellow, Marie Spiker, to inform the upcoming proceedings paper Cultivating Sustainable Food Systems: A Nutrition-Focused Framework for Action and the House Leadership Team is currently developing motions. Review the HOD Backgrounder and other meeting materials here.

The following content is sponsored by Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine.

Health Meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference

Registration is open for the 6th annual Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference from June 21 – 23 in New Orleans. Health meets Food is dedicated to teaching allied health professionals about the important connection between good health and healthy eating.

Attendance at Health meets Food cuts across a wide spectrum of industries and professions from academia to private practice and industry. Dietitians, chefs, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers learn, collaborate and cook shoulder-to-shoulder in our hands-on cooking and skills building sessions.  15 – 20 CEU hours available.

In addition to our exciting Keynote Speaker, Dr. Robert Lustig, we are partnering with the International Society of Neurogastronomy. They will hold the ISN Sym­posium on Thursday, June 20th. You have options to register for either conference or both.

This year’s conference will be held at the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute and the Sheraton Ho­tel. We have secured a great rate for rooms. There will be limited rooms, so book your room as soon as possible to make sure that you don’t miss out.

Find information and register at:­

$100.00 off for RDs, nurses, phar­macists, certified diabetic educa­tors, and those working in foodservice:

Use code “legumesaregreat” at checkout.

University of Mississippi – Coordinated Program Pinning Ceremony

On April 3, 2019 The University of Mississippi Coordinated Program in Dietetics held their Pinning Ceremony.

Front row L to R is Whitney Black, Michelle Weber, Megan Partaca and Shannon Boguth. Back row is Tiffany Shirley, Timmi Bishop, Jamie Benefield, and Selby Entrekin.  

Front row L to R is Whitney Black, Michelle Weber, Megan Partaca and Shannon Boguth. Back row is Tiffany Shirley, Timmi Bishop, Jamie Benefield, and Selby Entrekin, Hope Guthrie, Outstanding Preceptor of the Year.

Mississippi State University Student Dietetic Association Celebrates!

On April 9, 2019 the Mississippi State University Student Dietetics Association celebrated the 2019 graduates. We wish them well in their next steps and career paths.

The 2019-2020 Officers were also installed at this event.

Outgoing 2018-2019 MSU SDA Officers

Incoming 2019-202 MSU SDA Officers

Passing the torch from our current officers to our future officers

University of Mississippi Student Dietetic Association

On April 9, 2019 The University of Mississippi Student Dietetic Association inducted the 2019-2020 officers. Pictured below are (left to right) Sarah Vaughan, Past President; Ellie Stamerjohn, Past Vice President; Maggie Lowery, incoming President; Anna Lee Quarles, incoming Secretary; Marie Page, incoming Vice President; and Michelle Terracina, incoming Treasurer.

Applied Sciences Partners with RebelWell to Offer Healthier Options

Click here to check out the article written by Sarah Sapp.