As the 2021-2022 year is wrapping up, I have been reflecting on the many things that I have learned and been involved in over the past year serving as President of MS-AND. I came into this year believing I knew exactly what direction this year was going, but I quickly realized that I had to pivot and focus my efforts in a different direction.
One thing that this past year has taught me is to learn to more be flexible and open-minded regarding other peoples’ viewpoints and situations. Sometimes we need to open our ears and our minds to other viewpoints to make the best decision for the organization.
One last thing that I wanted to touch on is volunteerism. If you attended the Annual MS-AND conference, I know you heard me talk about this almost every time I took the stage. Without volunteers, no organization can be successful. It is up to the body of the organization to put in the time and effort that it takes to run it successfully. MS-AND exists to promote the profession of dietetics for all its members and non-members here in Mississippi. This existence relies on the participation from MS-AND members but can be greatly strengthened by growing our ranks. Please encourage your non-member collogues to join our association and see for themselves the benefit and professional growth they will garner by being a part of this vast network of Dietitians in Mississippi.
If you would like more information on how you can volunteer or network with other RDNs in your area, please visit our website for more information. There you will find the contact information for the Regional Coordinators (and corresponding map of regions) along with contact information for the MS-AND Board of Directors.
I hope everyone has a fantastic summer–I don’t know about you, but this girl needs a beach vacation!!!
Lindsay Mixon, RDN, LD
MS-AND President 2021-2022
Happy May everyone,
I know this is such a busy time of year with graduations, school getting out for summer, summer travel, and professional responsibilities. There are so many joys that come with this time of year, but it can also lead to many other feelings. May is Mental Health Awareness Month – a time to rise awareness of the many mental health challenges that people go through. There are several resources through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: www.samhsa.gov/programs/mental-health-awareness-month , the National Alliance on Mental Illness: www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month, and many other places.
As we wind down this fiscal year, I would like to thank Lindsay Mixon, the 2021-2022 President of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has lead us through the establishment of our four affiliate regions (https://eatrightmississippi.org/regions/), our first in-person conference since the beginning of the pandemic, complicated conversations related to Mississippi’s dietetics licensure law and regulations, planning events with some of our surrounding states. Thank you for your guidance, leadership, organization, mentorship and friendship. I know you will continue to be a trail blazer in your Past President Year.
Thank you to Heather White as well. You have served the Mississippi Dietetic Association/Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in many different capacities. Thank you for your dedication to our profession and our organization. COVID-19 hit us in the middle of your president-elect year. You showed us how to keep our heads above water in your leadership around those changes and your perseverance has continued.
Our Treasurer, Laura Ewoldt, Professional Development Chair, Rebecca Bagwell, and Nominating Chair, Karen Johnson, are all rolling off this board as well. Thank you for your hard work, commitment to the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and loyalty during your time with this board. You have all shown great leadership abilities and I hope to continue to work with you in other capacities.
I look forward to working with the 2022-2023 Board of Directors and I hope to meet many more of you at the regional meetings. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Lydia West, President-elect
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Update to the Mississippi State Department of Health Regulations Governing Licensure of Dietitians
The MS-AND Consumer Protection Coordinator (CPC) is Roxanne Kingston. The role of the CPC within each state affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (and the Academy). Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDNs), Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered (NDTRs), dietetic interns, and students have an ethical responsibility to the public for ensuring access to quality nutrition care while also preventing incidents of harm from inaccurate or unethical practice. In Mississippi, we have comprehensive dietetics licensure regulations that help us to do that. In Mrs. Kingston’s role of CPC, she act as a liaison between you, the MS-AND Executive Board of Directors, and the Mississippi Council of Advisors in Dietetics. This way, we have a central hub where we can house all the reports and be sure they are investigated. In addition, we can make sure the right information is communicated to all involved.
As a result of the free speech lawsuit that health coach, Donna Harris, brought against the Mississippi State Board of Health, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) revised its dietetics practice regulations. The national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics worked with MSDH on these revisions, and the updated regulations clarify that anyone who provides Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) (i.e., the provision of nutrition care services to treat or manage a disease or medical condition) needs to be qualified and licensed. This important clarification both ensures Mississippi’s critical consumer protections will continue and ensures our dietetics practice act is tailored to require a license to provide MNT, the area of practice where the risk of harm to the public is most significant.
Amending the regulations within the Mississippi State Department of Health is very different from opening the licensure law for dietitians. The MS-AND Executive Board held multiple meetings with the lawyers from the Academy, Mississippi Council of Advisors on Dietetics, and MSDH licensure directors. These meetings resulted in the addendum to the regulation. Please know the team that worked on resolving this is dedicated to the field of dietetics and always had the best interest of licensed dietitians in the state of Mississippi at the forefront of every decision. If this case would not have been settled out of court and if the revisions of the regulations were not clarified, it was a strong possibility that our licensure law would have been reopened where many more substantial changes could have been made, or fearfully, our licensure law could have been dissolved all together.
If you know of an incidence of harm, please send it first to our Consumer Protection email (email@example.com) for it to be reported. You can also share that information in the Academy’s Incident Reporting Tool (IRT). These practices will help promote the entire profession and serve as a reminder for why licensed dietitians are needed in Mississippi. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know.
Seeking Member Input
This month I have spent significant time in meetings related to the HOD Transformation Taskforce and serving on an internal HOD-BOD Communication Taskforce where we are working hard to speak to and transform the ways the HOD communicates with membership, the BOD, and the HLT. These are critical steps to assure member voices are heard and that we can communicate efficiently, effectively and sometimes urgently.
If any of you have previously served on the BOD or HLT, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to schedule a time to talk about ways you feel we could improve. Please respond soon as we are on a fast track timeline. Thanks to all!
Teresa Carithers, PhD, RD, LD, FAND
Celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, also known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To celebrate, learn more about the cultures and cuisines of AAPI dietitians from places such as Indonesia and Japan, through feature articles in Food & Nutrition Magazine’s My Global Table series. Read stories of AAPI dietitians and students who share what it’s like pursuing a career in nutrition and dietetics. Or check out the Academy’s Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders member interest group.
As reported in our July 2021 newsletter, six MS-AND members have been working with child care centers around the state to provide technical assistance for the Go NAPSACC program (https://gonapsacc.org/) through the Better Together Collaborative. This month, the team members were able to meet with the child care centers in person to celebrate their success and share story boards the child care centers created to show all the work they have done.
MS-AND members Tiffani Grant, Lenora Phillips, Alma Harris, LaShaundrea Bradford, Alana Clinton, and Lydia West helped child care centers in the Metro Jackson area, the central Delta region, the greater Hattiesburg area, Laurel, and the Gulf Coast.
This collaborative covered four of the seven Go NAPSACC easy-to-use modules to address topics essential to the health of today’s young children:
- Infant and Child Physical Activity
- Child Nutrition
- Breastfeeding & Infant Feeding
- Screen Time
Each module uses tailored tools and best practices to guide child care providers toward healthy changes.
Tiffani Grant is the lead for the Mississippi Better Together Project, Lenora Phillips serves as the lead trainer and technical assistance consultant LaShaundrea Bradford, Alma Harris, Alana Clinton, and Lydia West serve as a technical assistance consultants with the centers. Taylor Henderson, Better Together Project Coordinator, and Jackie Hawkins, technical assistance consultant, are also involved in this project.
The Better Together Learning Collaboratives is an eight month learning collaborative with child care centers across the state where each center creates a leadership team and works through four of the Go NAPSACC modules through virtual live classes, recorded sessions, and assignments.
The other two parts of the Better Together project include
- State Wide Go NAPSACC: organizational partners across the state are working with early care and education centers (ECEs) to provide technical assistance to support adoption of healthy eating and physical activity best practice standards.
- State Systems Work: formation of a subcommittee to develop a statewide recognition program to acknowledge ECEs for obesity prevention efforts and a Technical Assistance network so that ECE centers can find information on specific topics through a resource database.
The work that these child care centers completed, will help their student and families make healthier choices and make Mississippi a healthier place.
Mississippi State University Dietetic Internship Class of 2022 Graduation
On May 5, 2022, sixteen dietetic interns graduated from the Mississippi State University Dietetic Internship Program. The ceremony took place at The Poorhouse in Starkville, MS. Terezie Tolar-Peterson EdD, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, Director of the MSU Dietetic Internship program, presided over the ceremonies. Lydia West, MS-AND President-elect, was the graduation speaker.
Good luck to all of the graduates on your next adventure!
Nutrition and Physical Activity Systematic Review
The RISA team has a new systematic review to disseminate entitled Impact of Nutrition and Physical Activity Interventions Provided by Nutrition and Exercise Practitioners for the Adult General Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. This article is published in the journal of Nutrients, is available open access and can be found at https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/9/1729. This systematic review examines the effect of nutrition and physical activity interventions combined provided by dietitians and exercise practitioners for adults who are healthy or have cardiometabolic risk factors but no diagnosed disease. Results demonstrate that dietitians and exercise practitioners play key roles in facilitating positive lifestyle behaviors to reduce cardiometabolic disease risk in adults.
Academy Members: Engage in Developing the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The development process of the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is officially underway! The Academy will provide comments throughout the development of the guidelines. Input and engagement from members is encouraged throughout the process to help inform the Academy’s recommendations. Here are two ways you can get involved today:
- Recommend Academy nominees for the 2025-2030 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Academy will respond to the proposed scientific questions that will inform the development of the 2025-30 iteration of the guidelines. Academy members are invited to nominate themselves or qualified expert colleagues (doctoral-level researchers) for inclusion in the Academy’s recommendations for members to serve on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. To learn more and submit your nomination, click here.
Join the Dietary Guidelines Affinity Group. The Academy’s new Dietary Guidelines Affinity Group will have its first meeting Wednesday, June 15 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). All Academy members interested in guiding the Academy’s recommendations during the guidelines process are invited to join these monthly meetings. Click here to register for the Dietary Guidelines Affinity Group and for more information on the Academy’s other Affinity Groups.
For Practitioners and Consumers: Infant Formula Supply Chain Information and Resources
Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_formula
The Academy continues to support RDNs and NDTRs regarding formula supply chain issues and has created website pages for consumers and practitioners containing information and resources on infant and pediatric formulas.
New Action Alert: Ensure Kids Continue to Have Access to Healthful Meals
Amid continued rising food costs, supply chain shortages and labor disruptions, school and summer meal operators still face challenges. Take action today: Tell Congress that schools need continued flexibilities to ensure children have access to healthful meals.
Opportunities for Members’ Input: White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health
The Academy will submit recommendations for issues to be addressed at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, to be held in September. Recommendations will align with the Academy’s strategic impact areas and advocate for the roles of registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered in nutrition care and services. Members are encouraged to provide input on the Academy’s recommendations. And the Academy will hold a listening session to gather feedback; watch for more information in the next month.
New on the EAL
Just released! The Evidence Analysis Library is pleased to announce the publication of the Malnutrition in Older Adults Systematic Review. Visit the EAL to see the results of this important initiative (insert link: www.andeal.org/mioa)
Live and Virtual: Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam Hands-On Training Workshops
The Academy’s live virtual NFPE training provides skills, techniques and the expert guidance RDNs need to accurately provide a nutrition diagnosis of malnutrition. Attendees benefit from receiving real-time feedback, which increases their confidence and skill level. Adult NFPE workshops will be held May 23 and 24; and June 13 and 14. A pediatric NFPE workshop will be held June 15 and 16. Ten CPEUs are available for each workshop. Learn More
Dietetic Educator Modules on EatrightStore
Three Academy modules are available to dietetics educators to assist with providing content about emerging healthcare delivery models which represent the future of healthcare delivery and payment, and offer an exciting opportunity for RDNs to demonstrate value. The content of the modules aligns with CDR’s Essential Practice Competencies and addresses some of the performance indicators and competencies that entry-level RDNs will need to practice in these emerging healthcare delivery models. They are available to purchase both individually or as a set, all including objectives, recommended reading, narrated PowerPoint presentations, and suggested student activities. More
Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity: Putting It Into Practice
The Academy offers a toolkit on the Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity benefit for Medicare Part B beneficiaries. Registered dietitian nutritionists can provide these services as auxiliary personnel in primary care settings and bill the services as “incident to” in accordance with CMS guidelines. This updated toolkit provides RDNs with information, examples and tools to successfully align with primary care providers to provide the IBT for Obesity benefit under Medicare Part B. Learn More
MNT Provider Newsletter – April Issue
Learn why RDNs should proceed with caution when using payment apps in their practice, and what the Academy is doing to support payment for RDN Aetna providers. Read the latest issue of the MNT Provider.
Previous editions of the newsletter can be found here: http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/news-center/in-practice/mnt-provider.
New Dietary Guidelines Affinity Group
The Academy is launching a new Dietary Guidelines Affinity Group, with the first meeting taking place on Wednesday, June 15 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (Ce Time). Academy members are invited to join these monthly meetings to provide feedback during the guidelines process. Click here to register for the Dietary Guidelines Affinity Group and more information on the Academy’s other affinity groups.
Madison Davis, RDN, LDN
City: Ocean Springs, MS
Workplace: Mississippi State University Extension
Position with MS-AND Board of Directors: Regional Leader- Gulf Coast
Tell us what your position is responsible for, and what you like most about it:
Coordinating networking activities for RDs in the area. I know I will enjoy working with new and familiar RDs and connecting everyone with resources and ideas.
What is your favorite hobby/pastime outside of work?
Walking the beach and enjoying all the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer!
What is your favorite place to visit in Mississippi and why?
The Mississippi Delta- it holds so many well kept cultural secrets. I attended Delta State for my internship, and my 1 year there will always make the Delta a special place for me.
Kathryn Johnson MS, RD, LD, NBC-HWC
City: Flowood, MS
Workplace: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MS
Position with MS-AND Board of Directors: Central region co-coordinator
Tell us what your position is responsible for, and what you like most about it:
Planning central region events with my co-coordinator Elena and be a liaison to other dietitians in the central region for the state of MS
What is your favorite hobby/pastime outside of work?
I like to go to concerts, cook, play tennis, hangout with friends and be the best aunt to my niece Ruth .
What is your favorite place to visit in Mississippi and why?
Ocean Springs- it has the obvious coast vibe, but so artsy and laidback. Love the restaurants and the downtown area.