President’s Message:

Along with some other dietitians from across the state, I recently attended the 82nd Annual meeting of the Mississippi Public Health Association in Jackson, MS. The theme for the conference, “Looking Forward: A 2020 Vision For Public Health In Mississippi”, is reflective of the spirit that Registered Dietitian Nutritionists should aspire to have as we “Look Forward” to the changes in our profession. Regardless of your particular area of practice, change is constant and inevitable. No other industry is this more representative in than in nutrition. Are you looking “forward”?

I had the privilege of meeting and learning from a forward-thinking family medical physician, Dr. Adam Nally. Dr. Nally has spent more than 18 years of his medical practice utilizing a comprehensive approach in combining nutritional and functional medicine along with cutting-edge evidence-based services. Dr. Nally’s approach to treatment of his patients usually revolve around the idea that many of the medical conditions that his patients present with can be positively affected with forward-thinking nutritional modification as a FIRST line of treatment! Combatting metabolic disorders, chronic inflammation and promoting the overall health of his patients through the use of carbohydrate restriction, Dr Nally has the long medical history of using nutrition as a primary tool rather than a secondary thought. The results of some of his patients that he used in his presentation were truly amazing and a testament to the power of “Looking Forward” with visionary nutrition interventions.

With the upcoming 2020 MS-AND Spring Conference planning going on at full-speed, we will have more opportunities to learn from some excellent presenters that will keep our affiliate members looking forward and encourage the change within our profession in alignment with current nutrition research. It was exciting to have so many inspiring conversations with other RDNs at the MPHA meeting after attending these educational sessions and I hope to continue the trend with our MS-AND conference in 2020! Be on the lookout for upcoming “save the dates” and teasers helping to build excitement and member engagement for our great affiliate.


Brady Taylor

President, MS-AND     

Member Spotlight:

Elise Aden Smith, MA, RDN, LD, FAND


Brandon, MS

Nutrition Systems

What do you like most about your position?
Making sure that residents of Nursing Facilities receive individualized nutrition care and that the staff of these facilities are trained to provide care with dignity

What is your favorite hobby/pastime outside of work?
Traveling with Friends and Family

What is your favorite place to visit in Mississippi and why?
The Mississippi Delta. There I have memories of my childhood, I am able to visit 3 special ladies who helped me become who I am today and I feel like I am still a teenager


Are you Going to FNCE?

We hope to see you in Philadelphia, PA for the 2019 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. It is going to be a great time! If you are there, let’s meet at the “FNCE sign” after opening session on Saturday for a group picture. Also, post your pictures from FNCE on social media and tag us: Facebook – @MSANandD and Twitter @mississippiRDs and use the hashtag #MSatFNCE.

24/7 Access to Maternal and Pediatric Experts – Through Pacify

The Mississippi State Department of Health Office of WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) offers all WIC participants free access to the Pacify App, a 24 hour, 7 day a week, video enabled service for breastfeeding moms. This app allows families to contact nurses and IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) with many years of clinical training and experience in an “on-demand” setting, without appointments using telemedicine. The services are available in English and Spanish and are an excellent supplement to support offered through post-natal clinic and hospital check-ups. Families who use the Pacify App have better post-partum care for moms and infants as well as reduced medical costs for families who are breastfeeding.

Although the number of lactation support professionals (such as peer counselors, Certified Lactation Consultants, and IBCLCs) is increasing in our state, we still have less than 2 IBCLCs per 1,000 live births. The Office of the Surgeon General recommends communities have 8.6 IBCLC for every 1,000 births to ensure adequate support for women throughout the perinatal period. The support available through the Pacify App helps to augment the scarcity of support, especially for families who have limited access to transportation or who live in rural communities.

Please click here for a case study about how the Pacify App has increased breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in Mississippi:

For more information visit:,0,128.html or your local WIC clinic.

Mississippi Schools Celebrated Farm to School Week Across the State


Schools around the nation celebrate Farm to School Month each October. In Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant has declared the first full week of October as Farm to School Week. Some of the Farm to School events that took place this month include:

  • The FoodCorp member in Tupelo School District worked to introduce students to new foods including turnips and spaghetti squash from Native Sons Farm as well as helped students make pledges to eat more produce. Also, staff from the Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition and the Southeast Regional Office of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services Branch visited Tupelo schools during National School Lunch week (October 14-18, 2019)
  • Jackson County School District’s Child Nutrition Program partnered with community organizations, including the Jackson County Extension Office and the Mississippi Farm to School Network to teach students about local agricultural products.
  • The Alliance of Sustainable Farms and the Mississippi Farm to School Network hosted a “ Farm to School Training and Mixer” for farmers and school food service personnel at Native Son Produce Farm Stand in Tupelo.
  • Vicksburg-Warren School District worked with farmers to introduce students to local agriculture products.

To learn more about Farm to School efforts in Mississippi, visit the Mississippi Farm to School Network website: 

The Mississippi Public Health Association is Looking Forward

The Mississippi Public Health Association (MPHA) hosted its annual conference on October 17-18, 2019 at the Hilton in Jackson with the theme of Looking Forward: A 2020 Vision for Public Health in Mississippi. The MPHA President-elect, and one of our MS-AND members, Catherine Moring, PhD, RDN, LD, MCHES, planned a meeting that included traditional public health topics as well as information from more pioneering subject areas. The conference opened with presentations from Deputy Surgeon General, RADM Erica G. Schwartz, MD, JD, MPH and Mississippi’s State Health Officer, Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH who discussed national and state priorities related to public health initiatives. Additional Keynote speakers included:

  • Adam Nally, DO – physician, author and chronic disease expert
  • Timothy Quinn, MD – Jackson physician and motivational community health leader
  • Jim Painter, PhD, RD – national nutrition expert and author

There were 20 breakout sessions with topics ranging from leadership development to research methods, CBD to gut microbiome, vaping to mindfulness, and opioids to domestic violence. Participants also were able to learn about emerging research in our state through two professional poster sessions.


Delegate Report

Its FNCE Week and I’m looking forward to the 2019 in-person House of Delegates meeting that will take place before FNCE in Philadelphia.

On Friday, October 25, we will begin the Academy’s House of Delegates (HOD) meeting with a discussion on Technology: Big Data where we will talk about how to increase knowledge of and how to advocate for technology/big data to be utilized to advance our profession. Task force(s) will be established to work collaboratively on gaps identified during the dialogue.  On Saturday, October 26, we will work on the development of recommendations for the Academy Board of Directors on the “Total Diet Approach” terminology and stance as an effective message to communicate food and nutrition information to the public. I will make sure to give you all a full report in the November newsletter.

The Academy’s Action Center website is currently down. This is because they are in the process of launching a new grassroots advocacy platform with enhanced features that are modern and easy to use.

Traditionally 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; and Farm to School Grant Program. The last reauthorization occurred through the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Because many Academy members are significantly impacted by policy related to the Child Nutrition Programs, The Academy is monitoring opportunities to take action related to future Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Check out our Facebook page (@MSANandD) this week and next for a Social Media Campaign related to Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

You can sign up for updates from the Academy’s many publications here:

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.

-Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, CC
MS-AND Delegate and Past President