President’s Message:

Spring Conference – Save The Date!
Welcome to 2020! I hope that everyone was able to find time during the busy holiday season to reflect back on last year in preparation for a successful and exciting 2020! It seems like only yesterday that we were all gathering in Pearl for the 2019 Spring Conference and now this years conference is just a little more than 8 weeks away. MS-AND President Elect, Heather White and her committee members have been hard at work developing an excellent agenda with a list of great speakers presenting on a wide variety of topics. We heard from many of you and listened when you said that you were happy with the venue and layout of the 2019 conference and we will again be back at the Muse Center in Pearl, MS on March 26th-27th.

Building off of last year’s conference’s success, I want to encourage everyone to sign up and bring a friend (or many friends)! During the conference and in the days after, I heard from so many of you describing the wonderful feeling of fellowship in learning and growing with many colleagues that we don’t get to see so often. The MS-AND Conference is a great way to catch up with old friends while catching up on current topics in our field.

In no other way was the fun and fellowship more greatly exhibited than with the time spent with everyone at the evening reception. We will again be having the evening cocktail reception after the last educational session on March 26th. The reception will be back at Table 100 and we will again offer 1 hour CEU for student research poster session as well as provide time to wind down and socialize with other dietitians from across the state. We hope that everyone will join us there for an “after hours” meeting.

Award Nominations
The Nominating Committee is still looking for nominations for consideration for the following awards:

  • Outstanding Dietitian of the Year
  • Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year
  • Emerging Dietetic Leader
  • Magnolia Award

I am sure that most of us work with other RDNs across many different areas of practice that exhibit the qualities worthy of recognition. The nomination process is simple and straightforward. Please consider nominating someone today!

Our state affiliate elections are about to begin and the nominating committee is still taking nominations including for the position of Chair-Elect Professional Development. This position encompasses 2 former board positions, Chair on Professional Issues (CPI) and Chair on Education and Research (COER). Serving on the MS-AND Board of Directors and a very fulfilling experience and one that I encourage everyone to participate in during their career. If you would like more information on this or any of the upcoming board vacancies, please contact me at or Nominating Committee Chair, Leslie Dooley at

Brady Taylor
President, MS-AND

2020 Spring Conference

Plans for the 2020 Spring Conference are continuing! The conference will be held on March 26th and 27th, 2020 at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl, MS. We will have another full agenda of some very talented speakers and presenters offering a wealth of information on a variety of topics to meet this year’s theme: Blueprint for Success. The MS-AND Board of Directors along with numerous other volunteers have worked tirelessly to create a schedule of events that we hope will appeal to all of you. We have at least one-hour CEU planned to help fulfill the Ethics requirement in our CDR Plan for Approval.

A reception will be held again this year at Table 100 shortly after the closing session on Thursday March 26th. One-hour CEU will be offered for student poster sessions. This will be a great time to mingle with other RDNs in the State. Speakers from our conference will be invited to attend this reception to help increase our networking opportunities.

Be on the lookout for email updates and mailings which will include a complete agenda, promotional information regarding our speakers and registration information.

2020 Jr. Chef Competition Finals

On January 23, 2020 the Mississippi Department of Education, Offices of Child Nutrition & Healthy Schools and Career & Technical Education hosted the 2020 Jr. Chef Competition Finale at the Mississippi FFA Center in Raymond, MS. The theme was Savor the Flavor of Mississippi.

This competition allows High School Culinary Arts students the opportunity to learn about recipe development, farm to school resources, teamwork, and friendly competition among their peers. The recipes are nutritious and student-friendly that are easily incorporated into Child Nutrition menus.

Team “Cookin’ Chicks” from the Culinary Arts Program at Desoto County Schools Career Tech West served Spicy Chicken with Vegetables. Team “Lancia” from the Culinary Arts Program at Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg MS served Warrior Oli Ravioli. Team “Momma Mia” from the Culinary Arts Program in Jackson County School District served Chicken Parmesan over Fettuccini Alfredo.

The 2020 winners, Team “Momma Mia” will now prepare to travel to the Southeast Regional Competition in Louisville, KY to compete against other 1st Place winners from: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee and a chance to win a scholarship to Sullivan University.

Team “Cookin’ Chicks

Team “Lancia”

Team “Momma Mia”


Delegate Report

The Mississippi 2020 Legislative session started on January 7, 2020 and the last possible day of this session is May 10, 2020. Emmy Parkes, the MS-AND Public Policy Coordinator, and I have been working with the MS-AND Board on plans to coordinate with MS-AND members during this session. I also participated in the December 18, 2019 webinar with the SPRs: Advocating from the Bottom-Up and the January 8, 2020 webinar Strategies that Create Value: Obesity and Malnutrition Advocacy through the Academy Advocacy team.

I attended the January 25, 2020 Virtual House of Delegates Meeting, where we discussed Evidenced Based (Dietetics) Practice – the cornerstone of our profession. We also examined what more needs to be done to support and communicate evidence-based practice to members, our clients and the public. Recommendations from the meeting will help inform future decisions by the Academy Board of Directors related to advancing Evidenced Based Practice in our profession.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), and Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) all support and encourage evidence-based practice:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Strategic Plan
  • ACEND Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Programs and Dietetics Internship Programs
  • ACEND’s Future Education Model Accreditation Standards
  • Code of Ethics for the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration Continuing Professional Education Provider Accreditation Handbook
  • Scope of Practice/Scope of Professional Performance for RDNs and NDTRs

There are three prongs to Evidenced Based Practice: 1. research evidence, 2. professional expertise, and 3. client preferences. The delegates and Academy staff made sure to consider how Evidenced Based Practice can be achieved in new or emerging fields/areas of practice in all steps of the Nutrition Care Process. We spent time in discussion about the barriers to implementing evidenced-based practice and ensuring that new tools regarding Evidenced Based Practice will be communicated to members.

If you would like to learn more about Evidence-Based Practice, the September 2019 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics released an updated Definition of Terms List. You can also read the Academy’s Strategic Plan. The HOD has examined this topic from two angles in the past: Fall 2009 Evidence-based Practice and Spring 2014 Engaging Members in Research. The Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) was created in 2004 and is a user-friendly database dedicated to presenting timely and comprehensive evidence on nutrition care in the form of systematic reviews, Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines (EBNPGs), and hands-on resources for guideline implementation.

Review more information on the Academy’s Methodology for Developing Evidence-based Nutrition Practice Guidelines. The Academy’s Research, International and Scientific Affairs (RISA) team advances the profession by supporting and encouraging nutrition and dietetics research and providing innovative resources that empower credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners to implement evidence-based practice. The Council on Research guides research priorities and research activities, ensures alignment of research efforts and viability and relevance of Academy research projects, as well as monitors the consequences of current and future research-related methodologies and recommendations.

The Council on Future Practice identified several change drivers related to research and Evidenced Based Practice. The associated trends from the change driver Accountability and Outcomes Documentation Become the Norm in the Visioning Report 2017: A Preferred Path Forward for the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession. The Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) Dietetic Practice Group (DPG) has a Best Available Evidence Decision Tool that helps guide RDNs to evaluate the available scientific research and evidence that applies to make clinical decisions about nutrition care. Other DPGs such as Weight Management and Research have been educating members through articles and continuing education on shared decision-making, bias, and other topics related to evidence-based practice.

The “Research and Standards” area has been a learning track at FNCE® for many years. The Center for Lifelong Learning also requires the use of evidence for webinars and certificates of training programs. The CDR Competency Assurance Panel has implemented and is in the process of expanding a “Secret shopper” program for self-study continuing professional education programs that are offered by Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) accredited providers or prior approved by CDR. This program has contributed to CDR’s ability to monitor provider compliance with CDR’s continuing professional education self-study approval criteria and to identify where standards require revision.

The CDR has implemented a Critical Thinking Tool. The self-study criteria now include a requirement for a separate critical thinking tool for all self-study products. The critical thinking tool recommends that practitioners record how they will apply what they learned to improve their knowledge, skills, behavior, and attitudes. Food & Nutrition Magazine® has developed a voluntary Pledge of Professional Civility, guiding principles and related resources to help foster camaraderie among our professional community and encourage constructive engagement among peers. These concepts should be applied to the evidence-based practice discussion to promote respect and professionalism even when there may be differing opinions on a topic.

I look forward to events this spring and the April 25, 2020 Virtual House of Delegates meeting.


Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, CC, Delegate
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Extension Agent I-Community Wellness Planners – Paid Job Posting

The MSU Extension, Office of Nutrition Education is accepting applications for Extension Agent I-Community Wellness Planners (CWP). The CWP will be part of a team responsible for implementing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) in Mississippi. CWP’s will teach youth and adults and implement community-based efforts to make healthy lifestyle choices more attainable and desirable. We are looking for highly motivated individuals with experience in food and nutrition, who are committed to making a difference in Mississippi. Go to to apply for job number #498480. MSU is an EOE.

Member Spotlight:

Holly F. Huye, PhD, RD

Picayune, MS

Associate Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi

What do you like most about your position?
Getting to know my students and watching them grow between the Junior and Senior year. Then, seeing them thrive in their jobs and take on leadership positions like in MS-AND!

What is your favorite hobby/pastime outside of work?
Gardening, nature hikes, antique shopping, and yoga.

What is your favorite place to visit in Mississippi and why?
Ocean Springs and the Coast. I love downtown Ocean Springs and the Arts culture, especially the Walter Anderson museum. I also like to visit the farmer’s market in Ocean Springs and support our local farmers. There are so many small towns on the coast with quaint downtown shopping areas for ‘antiquing’ – another way to support our local economy! I also love being on the water and watching the sunset.