President’s Message:

FNCE 2019 in Philadelphia, PA is in the books and what a wonderful FNCE it was!  Along with the excellent learning opportunities and networking fun, it was great to see so many of our Mississippi colleagues throughout the 4 day long event. Mississippi was well-represented  on the stage as well as some moderator and speaker introduction duties were performed by our state affiliate colleagues.


On Monday October 28th, Elise Smith presented on the main stage during the Member Showcase on the importance of the work that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Political Action Committee (ANDPAC) does for all of its members throughout the world.  Elise serves and the Chairperson for ANDPAC and gave a rousing speech that encapsulated the the importance of member support for ANDPAC stating that ANDPAC exists to be “Your voice.  Your profession.  Your future”.  We, as dietitians, can make a difference in nutrition policy when we work together.  ANDPAC gives the members of the Academy to opportunity to directly support the Academy’s vision, mission, and public policy priorities.  With your support with donations no matter how big or how small, ANDPAC will continue to be “Your Voice” in strengthening policy and advocating on behalf of our great profession.


Picture 1: Mississippi RDs get together for a quick pic after opening session.
Picture 2: Elise Smith (second from right) along with AND President Terry Raymond and others share the stage with Surgeon General of the United States, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams.

Brady Taylor

President, MS-AND

Check out some of the snapshots we took during the conference here.

MS-AND Board Positions

The nominating committee is beginning the process to fill positions for 2020-2021 MS-AND Executive Board. We need your help identifying individuals for the following positions:

  • President Elect
  • Chair-Elect COER
  • Nominating Committee Member

Click here for more information and criteria. Please submit your nominations by emailing,, and by December 13th, 2020.

2020 MS-AND Annual Conference

We are nearing the end of the year and have some exciting things in store for the 2020 MS-AND Annual Conference.

The Conference will be held on March 26th and 27th, 2020 at the Muse Center in Pearl, MS.  The committee received great feedback about the location of the meeting last year so we decided to have it held there again.

Our title is, “Blueprint for Future Success”.  We intend to have a wide range of topics to cover the Hot Topics in Weight Management, Diabetes, School Foodservice, Long-Term Care as well as other areas of our profession. 

Be on the lookout for more Conference info to come!


Heather White, MS, RDN

President-elect MS-AND

MS-AND Award Nominations

The MS-AND Nominating Committee is seeking award nominations.

Please click here for more information, criteria, and nomination forms for the following awards:

  • Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award (ODY)
  • Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award (RYDY)
  • Emerging Dietetic Leader Award (EDL)
  • Magnolia Award

Complete the nomination form and email to,, or by January 31, 2020.

Delegate Report

I attended the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ fall 2019 House of Delegates meeting held before FNCE. As Delegates, we discussed Technology/Big Data and the Total Diet Approach though the lens of thriving in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) World. We know that our profession must adapt and be responsive, agile, and systems-oriented in its solutions for these issues and others to remain relevant in a VUCA environment.

A HOD Technology/Big Data Task Force, with delegates and other subject matter experts, will be appointed to prioritize and develop action plans for gaps identified during the dialogue. In addition, action plans will be presented to the HOD in the spring to determine final recommendations to forward to the Board of Directors.

Since 2001, the American Dietetic Association (now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) has had a position statement regarding The Total Diet Approach. This statement is widely cited by members and the media. In addition, this position statement is internationally acknowledged by professional organizations and publications and has become the Total Diet Approach philosophy of the Academy based on the Total Diet Approach position statement. In 2018 the method for establishing an Academy position statement was revised. The new process requires that both a scoping and systematic review are done on a specific topic. For a position paper, the systematic review needs to have sufficiently strong evidence to warrant a rating of grade I or II. The Total Diet Approach is not based on specific research questions or studies and thus was able to be renewed per the new methodology for position or consensus statements. So, it was officially “retired” in 2018.

During the fall 2019 HOD meeting, we also discussed the relevance of total diet approach terminology as well as the proposed stance. The new proposed stance is: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics supports the Total Diet Approach as the foundation for healthful eating. This approach focuses on the overall pattern of foods a person consumes over time, in moderation, combined with appropriate portion sizes and physical activity. A registered dietitian nutritionist is the best source of science-based advice for choosing an eating plan that is personalized for each individual. The next step is that a qualitative analysis of the delegate discussion is underway to identify the common themes from the dialogue at the HOD meeting. Delegates and Academy Committees will engage in activities to determine recommendations for the stance to share with the Academy’s Board of Directors in February (the HOD will now meet three times a year instead of two times a year).

Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to talk about any of this information in more detail.


Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, CC
MS-AND Affiliate Delegate

MS-AND Public Policy panel is working for YOU!

There are three focus areas of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ strategic plan that our national policy and advocacy framework:

  • Prevention and well-being
  • Health Care and Health Systems
  • Food and Nutrition Safety and Security

These are targeted to enhance our members’ value in policy initiatives and to improve the nutritional health of Americans. We believe that successful public policies: (1) create jobs, (2) improve health of Americans, and (3) support the economy and workforce.

On November 13, 2019 the Academy’s Policy Initiatives and Advocacy (PIA) Staff held a webinar to discuss the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill and other national legislation.

Ideally, the United States Congress reauthorizes existing child nutrition programs every five years. These child nutrition programs include the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, Special Milk Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Farm to School Grant Program. The last reauthorization, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, was passed in 2010. Consequently, these programs have not been updated in nearly a decade.

On the most recent webinar, the PIA staff stated that the U.S. Senate will probably move on a Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill in the spring of 2020 and that the U.S. House of Representatives is waiting on the U.S. Senate to propose a bill first. The PIA staff is watching three other marker bills: House of Representatives 3117: CARE for Families Act, Senate 2760: CARE for Kids Act, Senate 2692: School Modernization and Efficient Access to Lunches for Students Act of 2019.

Your Mississippi Public Policy Panel will stay involved in these conversations and are working on some local initiatives where members of MS-AND and our partners can talk with our national legislators while they are in their home offices.

As a reminder of the process for funding federal programs, please review this graphic:


MS-AND Helps State Employees SHAPE UP

The Mississippi Legislator sponsored the 2019 Shape Up at the Capitol for state employees and downtown Jackson Businesses on November 15, 2019.

Members of MS-AND hosted a booth to help participants learn more about healthy eating habits, as well as how they can work with registered dietitian nutritionists on their health and wellness goals. 

Member Spotlight:

Lakon Alford, RDN, LD

Senatobia, MS

Nutrition Systems

What do you like most about your position?
As a consultant dietitian, I most enjoy the freedom that comes with it. I am able to consult with many different facilities throughout each month and can create a schedule to best serve each one. It allows me to meet many different people and visit different areas of Mississippi, as well as, allowing me to balance my work and personal life. I believe that working as a consultant allows me to better serve the needs of more patients in my area than a traditional clinical dietitian position would.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime outside of work?
I love going on adventures with my husband and three boys.

What is your favorite place to visit in Mississippi and why?
Snow Lake Shores, near Holly Springs. I love Snow Lake Shores because I get to spend time with my family, boating, cooking out, and enjoying the outdoors.

Candidates Announced for The Academy and CDR Elections

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Commission on Dietetic Registration Nominating Committees are pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2020 national ballot, chosen from many excellent nominees. Candidates’ biographical information will be posted on the election website in late December.

As a reminder, the election will occur February 1 through February 15, 2020. For more information, please visit

Mississippi Renal RDs

I have attached a photo of the Mississippi Renal RDs who meet twice per year to gain CEU’s and network with other renal RDs. Any dietitian is welcome to attend, though topics discussed in each meeting are typically pertaining to treating patients with chronic kidney disease or on dialysis. The Fall 2019 meeting was held on 11-7 this year and will meet again in Spring of 2020. If any RD is interested in attending future meetings, or just to be added to the mailing list, please contact Rebecca Butz at

The Mississippi School Nutrition Association Celebrates 50 Years of Conference

The Mississippi School Nutrition Association (MSNA) hosted its 50th annual conference October 31 – November 3, 2019 at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino and Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi. This year’s theme was Celebrating the Past – Defining the Future, 1969 – 2019. The conference featured Steering Committee and Executive Board Meetings, a Tray Contest, an Executive Board/Steering Dinner, Pre-Conference Sessions, the Emporium and Silent Auction, Expo Hall, Storyboard Competition, an Industry Appreciation Dinner, a Wellness Activity, Education Sessions, and concluded with a formal MSNA Conference Awards Banquet to celebrate the past 50 years.








Join the Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi for the 2019 Lifestyle Coach Symposium

This one-day symposium is a landmark event for you to be a part of the Focus on Mississippi to Prevent Diabetes initiative that includes scaling the Lifestyle Coach quality workforce needed for Mississippi to take the lead in diabetes prevention.

The event will be at the Hilton Jackson, (1001 E County Line Rd, Jackson, MS 39211) on December 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided for registered attendees. Participants will include Lifestyle Coaches, human service practitioners, program suppliers, or any organizations related to the delivery of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) and Medicare MDPP lifestyle change programs. Click here to register and for more information:

Double Up Food Bucks is doing BIG things in Mississippi

 Everyone of us knows someone who is affected by food insecurity.  According to the CDC’s State Indicator Report on Fruits and vegetables (2018) only 8.7% of Mississippi adults meet the daily fruit intake recommendation, and only 6.2% of Mississippi adults meet the daily vegetable intake recommendation. Double Up Bucks Mississippi received a grant from Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP – a joint program between NIFA and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service). This grant plus matching funds has generated $1.68 million to encourage more purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables for Mississippians while strengthening our local and regional food systems. Look for more information for what this means for our great state in the months to come.

Join in on the Food Insecurity Conversation

A Southwest Mississippi Food Security Meeting will be held on December 12th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church Ministry Center in Brookhaven, MS. The meeting is free to attend and lunch will be provided. However, you must RSVP to attend.  Please RSVP to

The event will begin with a service project for a weekend backpack program, “Blessings in a Backpack” where food is packed into a bag and then the bags are delivered to about 250 school children across Lincoln County who would otherwise go hungry on the weekend without this service.  The remainder of the meeting will continue with conversations around food insecurity issues around our state.

The purpose of these meetings is to build a statewide collective of partners who are committed to working together to combat hunger in Mississippi. The collective aims to:

  • Increase statewide capacity to make Mississippi a more food secure state,
  • Help facilitate local and state policy solutions that address food insecurity issues, and
  • Share information and support across groups, municipalities, organizations, and communities.

The Southwest Mississippi Food Security Meeting is one of six regional meetings held across the state made up of individuals, nonprofits and other stakeholders working in agriculture, public health, direct food service and production, policy, and other related areas. Meetings have taken place in the Delta, Jackson area, Gulf Coast, and in North Mississippi.