President Message

Update from the Northwest MS-AND District

The Northwest MS-AND District held its first 2018 meeting on June 21st in Indianola, MS.  Emily Johnson presided over the meeting.   Jennifer Moore, MS, RD, LD spoke about the benefits of Plant-Based Nutrition.  Twenty- five plus attended including several Dietetics students from Delta State University.

The NW District is in the process of planning a community service project.  The district would like to conduct a food drive or other nutrition and health-related project.   The NW District would like input and ideas from members on how to better serve the community as leaders in the areas of nutrition and health.  Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.  Please send input/suggestions to:

A date for the next meeting will go out once a speaker is confirmed.   We look forward to getting your input and ideas about a community service project.

Update from the Central MS-AND District

The Central District of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics would like to introduce the 2018-2019 officers. The officers include Stephanie Mobley, President; Kathryn Johnson, President-elect;  Gillon Higginbotham, Secretary; and  Pebbles Counts, Treasurer. We look forward to an exciting year for the MSCDAND.

Thank you to our Licensure Council Members

The Mississippi Dietetics Practice Act of 1986 was enacted to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Mississippians. One of the many benefits of this law, is it established a Mississippi Council of Advisors in Dietetics, which is under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi State Board of Health. The Mississippi Academy of Nutrition would like to thank the current members of the Council: Rochelle Culp (Public Member), Darnell Sanford (Administrative Dietetic Member), Donna Speed (Community Nutrition Member), Olivia McCay (Consultation and Private Practice Member), Jennifer Warfel (Clinical Dietetics Member), Carol Connell (Dietetics Education Member), Richard Guynes (Licensed Member of a Health Profession).

Between 2012 and 2018, Constance Shelby has served as our Consumer Protection Coordinator (CPC) – a liaison between the Mississippi Council of Advisors and the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. What was originally a three year appointment, turned into five years of valued assistance. We deeply appreciate her years of service, dedication to the health of Mississippians and commitment to protecting Mississippians from harm. The MS-AND Board of Directors will appoint a new CPC in the coming months.
The Mississippi Council of Advisors in Dietetics meets twice a year to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mississippi State Board of Health in matters relating to the administration and interpretation of the Mississippi Dietetics Practice Act.

As a reminder, Mississippi licensed dietitians must obtain thirty (30) hours of continuing education hours during the two year licensure term. Licensees registered and in good standing with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) may submit proof of having met the continuing education requirements of the CDR.

If you know of violations to our licensure law, please let us know, We also want to promote the great things that you are doing in our state. Please send us stories about the great work you and your colleagues are doing!

Please click here to read through the entire regulation document.

Invest in your Career in D.C.

Join other members of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Washington D.C. for the 2018 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo® (FNCE®).  This is the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts and it address key issues affecting the health of all Americans.

Did you know:

  • FNCE® offers a number of events where you can gain insights while also earning CPE including the Research, Project and Program, and Innovations Posters.
  • Educational sessions at FNCE® are designed to advance the profession: 95% of the sessions are Level 2 and Level 3 and are presented by content experts.
  • Practice applications are incorporated into every FNCE® session to ensure that what will be able to immediately implement the concepts. Once your return to work, you will improve your employer’s overall workplace practices and performances. There will be over 130 unique educational opportunities at the 2018 FNCE®.
  • Attendees will experience four days of practical applications, insights into emerging research and trends, exposure to new and innovative products and services, and face-to-face networking.
  • For the first time, the Academy’s Public Policy Workshop (PPW) will immediately follow FNCE®. PPW at FNCE® 2018 will feature pre-event training webinars, a face-to-face training session on October 23 (after Closing Session) and a visit to Capitol Hill on October 24.
  • PPW is included in your full FNCE® 2018 registration. This is an ideal opportunity to advance your advocacy skills and be prepared with key messages to present during visits to Capitol Hill. Click here to learn more about PPW.

We have Exciting News!

At the 2018 MS-AND annual conference, the attending members voted to move our affiliate’s structure from a district based organization to a regional based organization during the 2018-2019 business year. There are many benefits to a regional based organization:

  • Focus on providing member benefits versus finding district officers
  • More short term volunteer opportunities
  • Same great events for members with less effort by our volunteer leaders
  • Shift administrative work from the district to the state level leading to greater cooperation at all levels across Mississippi

The MS-AND President, Lydia West, has set up a committee to assist with this process. These committee members will be talking with other states who have moved to a regional set up, working with members of leadership in the districts to regarding technical assistance as we make this transition, and developing a Q & A document as a reference tool. The transition will officially take place June 1, 2019. We will keep you in the loop as we move forward in this exciting venture. Please direct any questions to

West Nile Virus Active in Mississippi

Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports its first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2018. The reported case is in Hinds County.

In 2017, Mississippi had 63 WNV cases and two deaths. The first case was reported in late June.

“This first case of 2018 is a reminder that each year we have WNV cases in Mississippi and that all Mississippians need to act now to reduce their risk of infection regardless of where they live in the state. Most cases occur from July through September,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “While most infected people recover without any long-term problems, some develop a more severe infection that can lead to complications and even death – especially in those over 50 years of age.

Symptoms of WNV infection are often mild and may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, a rash, muscle weakness or swollen lymph nodes. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.
  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home and yard to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover the arms and legs when outdoors.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the MSDH website at

The Leadership of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is led by a Board of Directors and the House of Delegates. The Board of Directors:

  • sets and monitors the strategic direction of the Academy,
  • establishes policy within the organization, and
  • directs the Academy’s budgeting and finance activities, and monitors operational performance of the CEO

The House of Delegates

  • governs the profession and
  • develops policy on major professional issues

Mississippi has a history of strong delegate representation. Our current Delegate is Karen Lewis, MS, RD, LD. Click here to learn more about our entire Board of Directors.

USM Keeps Soaring to the Top

The Eagles Nest Food Pantry is a resource USM students, faculty and staff who are temporarily experiencing challenges accessing basic necessities. This food pantry is a place where people can pick up grocery items, hygiene supplies, baby items, school supplies and pet supplies. A variety of people use this resource. Each USM student who participates in the meal plan get five guest swipes on their meal plan through the university. Through a partnership with the Eagles Nest Food, students can now share two of these swipes with people who may be down on their luck. Eagle Dining will match every donated swipe, and all available meals will go into a pool to be distributed by need through the Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry. The Eagles Nest Food Pantry is also working toward additional partnerships with Parking Management on Campus and the University Libraries.

The Eagles Nest website lists reasons why college and university campuses need food pantries:

  • 5% of students are “non-traditional,” meaning they support families and/or work full-time jobs/multiple jobs.
  • Tuition has increased, while wages for a majority of workers have remained stagnant.
  • 32% of students report that food insecurity compromised their full potential in school, leading them to miss class due to feeling sick and unable to concentrate, ultimately dropping a class or even dropping out of school.
  • Congressional Report, “Alarming Snapshot of Adjunct Faculty,” reports that 75.5% of academia is composed of adjunct faculty who live at or below the national poverty line.
  • 50% of citizens in Mississippi have higher health care costs due to lack of food security.
  • International, out-of state and homeless students experience significant challenges ensuring consistent housing, accessing transportation and securing consistent healthy meals (particularly during school holidays).

Click here to see some pictures of the Eagles Nest Food Pantry and check out their Facebook page for more information.