President-Elect Letter


Happy September everyone,

I hope that you are all doing well. The month of September is Hunger Action Month, and the Academy puts a spotlight on Malnutrition this month as well. Check out this website: and the articles below for more information about Spotlight on Malnutrition. These are both issues that are near and dear to my heart. There are so many organizations in Mississippi who are working with malnutrition as well as hunger issues – thank you all for your selfless, determined work.   

We are planning for the 2021 Annual Conference to be March 24th and 25th. The conference planning committees will start next month. Please email, call or text me ( or 941-993-2075) if you would like to be a part of one of these committees:

  • 75th Anniversary Celebration
  • Awards
  • Education (for general sessions and breakout sessions)
  • Evaluation
  • Exhibits
  • Fundraiser (for ANDPAC, The Academy Foundation, and possible a local gulf coast organization)
  • Hospitality
  • Poster Session
  • Publicity
  • Registration
  • Sponsorship 
  • Wellness

Thank each of you for your dedication to our fields of food, nutrition and dietetics.




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

Delegate Report

Hi everyone,

The 2021 Virtual Fall House of Delegates Meeting will be September 17th and 18th. The focus of this  meeting is exploration and idea generation around further transformation of the House of Delegates to best meet the future needs of Academy members and the profession. You can view the meeting materials here.  If you would like to learn more about the House of Delegates or submit a critical issue, please click here.

I will provide you updates from the Fall House of Delegates in a separate email.

Thank you – Lydia

 Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, Delegate-proxy
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Join the Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition and the Mississippi Public Health Institute for a FREE virtual conference “Making an Impact in the Lactation Community on October 6. This is an opportunity to learn about the latest evidenced-based lactation practices in the field of lactation to better serve breastfeeding families in Mississippi. Click here for more information and registration information:

Poster Sessions

Action Alert

There are five Action Alerts open right now on the Academy’s Advocacy page: . Whether you are an Academy member or not, please take a few minutes to let your U.S. Senators and Representatives know about these important issues:

  • Registered dietitians may face up to 10% cuts thought Medicare Part B payments starting January 1, 2022.
  • Expanding Medicaid MNT coverage
  • Invest in school nutrition programs to help Mississippians establish life-long healthy eating habits
  • Expand MNT for eating disorders in Medicare
  • allow RDNs to independently provide intensive behavioral therapy for obesity within Medicare Part B

September is Spotlight on Malnutrition Month!

Malnutrition is a serious condition that must be addressed quickly and comprehensively. Throughout the month of September, “Spotlight on Malnutrition Month,” the Academy will raise awareness of malnutrition and promote the crucial role of registered dietitian nutritionists in identifying and treating this condition. Learn more and access malnutrition resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics here.

Join the #ExtendTheWICBump Campaign

The WIC Cash Value Benefit increase is helping families put healthful food on the table – and this increase should continue beyond September 30. Show your support by joining the #ExtendTheWICBump Campaign – learn more here

Diversity and Inclusion Web Hub

To highlight the important work members like you are undertaking in the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) area, the Academy created a D&I Hub to consolidate current news and up-to-date resources, easily accessible when you need them.

  • Get inspired to spearhead D&I efforts within your group by checking out the D&I Spotlights.
  • Link directly to the Foundation’s list of scholarship opportunities available to diverse individuals in dietetics.
  • Increase your knowledge of D&I Terms and Definitions.
  • Access the latest Academy D&I articles and Journal research.
  • View webinars, session recordings, videos and more!

Nominations for 2022 Election

The call for nominations for the 2022 national Academy election is open. The Nominating Committee is looking for leaders with proven skills and vision to further the profession. Nominations for president-elect, speaker-elect and treasurer-elect close September 10, 2021. Nominations for all other positions are due by November 8, 2021. Please visit to view the positions available on the 2022 ballot and download the nominations form. Help spread the word about nominations on social media by using this toolkit.

Volume 10, Issue 4 of Food & Nutrition Magazine® Available

The latest issue of Food & Nutrition is available online as a digital edition. Academy members can earn 2 CPEUs for free via self-study. Feature article topics include the potential consequences of online activity, polycystic ovary syndrome, foods and beverages with possible sun-protective qualities, healthy kitchen hacks for pantry storage and organization, and diverse voices in nutrition and dietetics. The issue also includes healthful snack recipes, research summaries, books of note, mobile app reviews and more.

Learn more/link to include:

MQii aims to advance evidence-based, high-quality, patient-driven care for hospitalized older adults who are malnourished or at-risk for malnutrition: #eatrightPRO #SpotlightOnMalnutrition

Call for Volunteers: eNCPT User Advisory Group

The Academy is seeking volunteers to share user perspectives on NCPT-related resources. This opportunity is open to individuals from a variety of practice areas, including but not limited to clinical, ambulatory, education, informatics, public health, EMR software development, students and interns. Click here to learn more and apply

Student Opportunity – Build Your Leadership Skills, Boost Your Career and Enhance Your Résumé!

Apply to represent your dietetics program by signing up as an Academy Student Liaison for the 2021–2022 membership year. Only Student members of the Academy are eligible, and just two Student Liaisons will be chosen to represent each program. As a Student Liaison, you’ll participate in the recruitment and retention of Student members and offer invaluable feedback to the Academy. You’ll also:

  • Build and develop your leadership skills.
  • Gain experience to include on your resume.
  • Earn recognition and enter to win prizes via the Student Liaison Fall Award, National Nutrition Month® Student Program and other opportunities.
  • Communicate with dietetic students nationwide.

Learn more

Apply Today to Serve on ANDPAC Board of Directors

Are you interested in helping the Academy build relationship with elected officials and advancing policies that impact our profession and our communities? 

Learn more and apply to be a member of the ANDPAC Board of Directors. In support of the Academy’s efforts to foster diversity and inclusion, the board seeks a wide range of applicants including those from underrepresented communities. Applications are due Friday, September 3. Download the application here.

Seeking Member Input

Telehealth Quick Guide for RDNs

The Academy’s Telehealth Quick Guide for RDNs includes clarification of coverage for phone and online assessment and management services; expanded workflow tips; sample telehealth coverage policies for major commercial payers; and information on cyber/data breach liability coverage. Learn More

2022 ACEND Accreditation Standards Released

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) Board has released the 2022 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Programs (CP), Didactic Programs (DPD), Internship Programs (DI), Technician Programs (DT) and Foreign Dietitian Education programs. 

  1. International Programs seeking ACEND accreditation for programs leading to graduates’ eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)’s credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists will follow the CP standards.  
  2. By December 31, 2023, CPs are expected to move to the graduate level and DI programs have the option to accept only students with a graduate degree or have a process in place to ensure interns complete their graduate degree by the end of the program.
  3. New clinical skills competencies added to meet ACEND’s mission of advancing the practice of the profession and ensure graduates have the skills needed to address future needs of patients/clients.    

The ACEND Board appreciates the feedback and thoughtful comments received during the public comment periods. The standards, guidance information, templates and crosswalks of the 2022 standards with the 2017 standards are posted on the ACEND Website. The 2022 Standards will go into effect for eligibility applications for new programs seeking candidacy accreditation on September 1, 2021 and for existing accredited programs on June 1, 2022 with site visits to programs in fall 2022 conducted based on the 2022 Accreditation Standards.

Consumer Protection – it’s a big deal

Registered dietitians (RD/RDN), nutrition and dietetics technician, 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 helps to do that (,0,82,60.html). 

The Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Consumer Protection Coordinator, Roxanne Kingston, acts as a liaison between you, the MS-AND Board of Directors, and the Mississippi Council of Advisors in Dietetics. 

If you know of an incidence of harm, or a success story related to food, nutrition or dietetics in Mississippi, please send it first to our Consumer Protection email ( for it to be reported. You can also share that information in the Academy’s Incident Reporting Tool (IRT), or Mrs. Kingston can input it to the IRT for you. These practices will help promote the entire profession and serve as a reminder for why licensed dietitians are needed in Mississippi.

Board Spotlights

Rebecca Bagwell, RDN, LD
City: Madison, MS
Workplace: Mississippi Baptist Medical Center

Position with MS-AND Board of Directors: Chair of Professional Development

Tell us what your position is responsible for, and what you like most about it:

Promote quality education programs, provide advice and expertise in the development of continuing education programs, approve/deny requests for CEU for associations and groups within the state. I love that I get to have a firsthand look at the CEU offerings for the state and help provide opportunities for dietitians in the state to receive CEU that further their career.

What is your favorite hobby/pastime outside of work?

Sewing, Traveling, Tennis and exploring all the delicious restaurants in the metro area.

What is your favorite place to visit in Mississippi and why?

The Delta! There is just something so special about the area. The crops, the history, the people and those gorgeous sunsets!