President’s Message

Greetings MS-AND Members,

It is an honor to serve as your President for the 2021-2022 year. There are many exciting things happening with MS-AND this year, so I wanted to take the time to discuss a few things that I plan to focus on for my presidency year.

This year MS-AND is celebrating it’s 75th year as a state affiliate of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we are planning to make this year’s Annual Conference one for the books! After two years of holding virtual conferences, we are excited to announce that this year we plan to hold an in-person conference on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast. We look forward to congregating in person because we have missed seeing all of your smiling faces at the annual conferences in years past.

The next biggest (and probably the most important) goal for me is to get our state’s regions started and thriving. A few years ago, the MS-AND body voted to move from “Districts” to “Regions” in an effort to help increase volunteerism on the state affiliate level. I have spoken with several RDN friends and all of them said the same thing to me…..we miss our quarterly regional meetings and we want to start them back!!! For that to happen MS-AND needs YOU!!!!! If you would like to volunteer to serve at the regional level, please email me ( and ask how you can get involved.

Calling all Students!

Now is the time for you to become a Student Leader. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is now accepting Student Liaison applications. You can build your leadership skills, boost your career, and enhance your resume. You can apply to represent your dietetics program by signing up as an Academy Student Liaison for the 2021-2022 membership year. You can learn more by clicking here.


Its Hurricane Season

The Academy’s Emergency Preparedness Playbook primes you for natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts, fires and tornadoes, as well as public health emergencies. The Playbook covers ambulatory, clinical, foodservice management and post-acute long-term care and includes a comprehensive resource list. And its FREE for Academy members. Click here to learn more.



Join the Payment and Reimbursement Online Discussion Board

As an Academy member, you have a space to network and share ideas, as well as practice management tips related to coverage and reimbursement for medical nutrition therapy services. A newly revamped discussion board also provides a venue for exchanging best practices to help advance coverage of nutrition services with health plans, employers and third-party payers. Click here to learn more.

Join the ‘ACT Now for MNT’ Campaign

The Academy is a proud champion of the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act, which would expand access to nutrition care for Medicare beneficiaries, authorize more health care providers to refer patients for MNT and contribute to health equity for minority communities with higher rates of nutrition-related chronic disease. Click here to learn more.

Proposed Rule for SNAP Categorical Eligibility Withdrawn

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that effective June 10, the proposed rule SNAP Categorical Eligibility, which would have limited states’ ability to use participation in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to determine eligibility for SNAP, was formally withdrawn. Originally published on July 24, 2019, the Academy opposed this proposed rule as more than 3.1 million individuals in 1.7 million households would have lost access to SNAP benefits. The rule also would have removed automatic eligibility for free school meals for nearly 1 million children, while 16,500 participants would have lost automatic eligibility for WIC. Click here to read the USDA press release.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Hosts First Ever Emerging Leaders’ Summit

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc. will host its first ever Emerging Leaders’ Summit, virtually, on Thursday, June 24. This two-part summit, geared towards Millennial and Gen Z political leaders, aims to create discussions and dialogue around how our nation has addressed the social justice concerns raised throughout the year 2020. The first session, “Student Loan Debt: A Barrier to Building Black Wealth,” will take place from 10-11 a.m. (Eastern Time), and the second session will be held from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern Time), entitled “Mission Driven Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century”. Click here to learn more and to register.

President-Elect Letter

Hi MS-AND Members!

I am so excited to serve as your MS-AND 2021-2022 President-elect and have the opportunity work with you and the MS-AND Board of Directors. We are starting off this year strong. There are many great plans for the coming year – our 75th year as an organization!

My time in the the role of MS-AND Delegate to the Academy House of Delegates has set me on a path to be an adept leader. I also look forward to learning from you, our members.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has spent time with self-reflection regarding diversity and inclusion, and will continue to do. Please visit to learn more and see several resources.

I look forward to working with you this year.


Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, President-elect
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics