Note from the Past President

Happy 2024 everyone! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season.

The MS-AND board of directors has been hard at work on several projects over the last several months:

  • Many board members attended FNCE in Denver, CO and attended sessions about how to continue to grow our association and our profession. The photo gallery below displays pictures of Mississippians at FNCE.
  • Held a virtual board meeting in November.
  • Conducted a MS-AND member and non-member survey. The results of those surveys are currently being reviewed and will be shared over the next several months.
  • Attended Mississippi Department of Education Junior Chef Competitions across the state.
  • Attended a December 2023 meeting of the Mississippi Council of Advisors in Dietetics with the Mississippi Department of Health Office of Licensure staff.
  • Met with Academy staff and MS-AND members to learn more about compact licensure for registered dietitians. More information can be found in the article below.
  • Continued with our social media plan.
  • The Nominating Committee is taking applications for positions on the 2024-2025 MS-AND Board of Directors. Please see more in the article below. 
  • Worked with the regional coordinators for plans for 2024.
  • The 2024 Annual Conference Committee has been hard at work on plans for this years conference in Hattiesburg, MS on April 4-5. Please see the article below fore more information.

I hope to see you on our compact licensure Zoom meeting on January 19th and at the 2024 Annual Conference in Hattiesburg, MS. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you – Lydia

Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, SNS, Past President
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Note from the Nutrition Payment and Reimbursement Specialist

Hi Everyone!

As we come into the new year, I would like to take the time to quickly introduce myself. My name is Chelsey Crocker, and I am the Nutrition Payment and Reimbursement Specialist for the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If there is anything that you would like to know in regards to payment and reimbursement within your practice, please feel free to reach out and I would be more than happy to help out.

A few updates from the Academy related to payment and reimbursement that have been strongly encouraged include: obtaining a National Provider Identification (NPI) number and Taking Action to urge our members of Congress to support the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act!

An NPI number should be obtained by all providers and is a unique 10-digit identification number assigned to the individual provider/practitioner forever. The individual NPI is important for RDN and NDTRs to be recognized among other practitioners, as well as external stakeholders, including public and private payers. For more information on obtaining an NPI number, please visit:

Furthermore, it is important that we take action to urge our members of Congress to support the Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) Act! This Act would expand coverage of MNT in Medicare Part B beyond diabetes and renal disease to include: prediabetes, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, malnutrition, eating disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases including celiac disease, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and any disease related to unintentional weight loss. To step up and TAKE ACTION, please visit:

Again, I am happy to help you all out if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding payment and reimbursement! Let’s get ready and make this a GREAT year for the field of nutrition and dietetics in Mississippi!

Best, Chelsey Crocker, MS, RDN, LD

Join us for a Compact Licensure Information Webinar

The Council of State Governments (CSG) is partnering with the Department of Defense (DoD) and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to support the mobility of licensed dietitians through the development of a new interstate compact. This additional licensing pathway will facilitate multistate practice among member states and reduce the barriers to license portability (source: 

The Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is working with stakeholders and state legislators on compact licensure legislation in the 2024 legislative session. Please join us for a webinar on January 19, 2024 at 12:00pm (CST) to learn more about compact licensure for registered dietitians, strategies that MS-AND is taking to support state legislation related to compact licensure for registered dietitians, and answer any questions or concerns you may have about these concepts. One hour of CPE is pending from the Commission on Dietetic Registration for those who attend the webinar live. A recording of the webinar will be on the MS-AND Public Policy webpage if you would like to view the webinar at a later time. 

Click here to register for the January 19th webinar. Please make sure each attendee is registered separately for this meeting. The Zoom meeting link is custom to each registrant and cannot be shared. If you have any questions or concerns before the webinar, please send them to [email protected].

2024 MS-AND Annual Conference

The 2024 MS-AND annual conference will be held at the Trent Lott Center on the Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi on April 4th and 5th. Stay tuned for registration information. 

Visit for the most up to date information. 

Call for Nominations for the 2024-2025 MS-AND Board of Directors

The 2024-2025 Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics elections will take place February 1-15, 2024. There are four elected positions open, and several appointed positions. The term for these elected positions begins June 1, 2024. 

Click here to see the descriptions of the open positions. Check out our social media (@eatrightMS on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) for highlights of some of the positions.

If there is someone you’d like to nominate, including yourself, please click the button below. Email [email protected] with any questions! 

MNT Coverage Act


Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Gary Peters (Mich.) and Representatives Robin Kelly (Ill.) and Jen Kiggans (Virginia) recently introduced the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act (H.R. 6407/S. 3297), which would expand coverage of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) in Medicare Part B beyond diabetes and renal disease to include:  

  • Prediabetes;
  • Obesity;
  • Hypertension;
  • Dyslipidemia;
  • Malnutrition;
  • Eating disorders;
  • Cancer;
  • Gastrointestinal diseases including celiac disease;
  • Cardiovascular disease; and
  • Any disease related to unintentional weight loss.

The MNT Act would also authorize the Secretary of Health to expand coverage to other disease states, and would allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists and psychologists to refer their patients for MNT.  

Expanded access to nutrition care is especially important for minority populations that have long faced chronic disease health disparities due to socioeconomic inequality and reduced access to health care, healthful foods and safe places to be active. With rising rates of chronic diseases that disproportionately impact communities of color, expanded access to MNT is more important now than ever.  

Visit to let your U.S. Senator and Representative know how important this legislation is. Encourage your co-workers, family and friends to contact their legislators too using this site:

Initial round of BEAM Funding Announced

Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM) made preliminary determinations for an initial round of funding. Click here for more information and to see an interactive map:

Grant Writing Assistance

The Mississippi Rural Health Association works to support and enhance grant applications for rural communities throughout the state. They have recently launched a special grant-writing support program available to all rural communities, providers and facilities in Mississippi. For more information, please click here to view grant-writing resources on their website.

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is hosting a series of information sessions to help with grants through the MAC. Click here to learn more and to find dates and location: 

New to Netflix

As you would expect for January, Netflix has launched a new docuseries on health and wellness called “You Are What You Eat.” This one is of particular interest to RDNs though—exploring the impact of a vegan diet and healthy omnivore diet in identical twins. Although a RDN is not featured as an expert in setting up the study premise, nutrition of Americans and its impact on our chronic diseases and mortality is highly elevated. The study looks at effects of the diet on body composition, the gut microbiome, and epigenetics in as close as possible to identical subjects in the identical twins. Spoiler alert: the research of this randomized clinical trial is published in JAMA and the vegan diet provides the most health benefits for these participants. Hopefully this show helps generate some conversations with your patients, clients, friends, and family that highlight nutrition’s value in health outcomes as we kick off the new year.

Study link:

Feedback Requested: Feedback on the ACEND 2022 Accreditation Standards

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Standards Committee is conducting a survey to gather feedback regarding the current 2022 and Future Education Model ACEND Accreditation Standards for nutrition and dietetics education programs. Per United States Department of Education requirements, the ACEND Accreditation Standards are revised every five years. The results of this survey will be used to revise the 2022 and FEM Standards.

Your feedback will be critically important as the 2027 Standards are being developed. Note that there are two surveys, one for the 2022/FEM Standards and Required Elements and another related to the Knowledge, Competencies and Performance Indicators. The Standards survey may take 40 to 60 minutes to complete; the review of the Knowledge, Competencies, and Performance Indicators may take up to two hours to complete. You can stop the questionnaire and re-enter at a later time to finish your responses.

The surveys may be accessed at the following links: 2022 Standards and FEM GP Standards until February 5, 2024. Your survey responses will remain anonymous. 

Opportunities to Serve 2024-2025 Application

The Academy committees are a unique opportunity to serve the profession. If you are interested in serving on a committee please complete the application. The information provided will assist the President-Elect and Speaker-Elect in making appointments for the 2024-2025 program year. The application is available now through January 15, 2024. You can make a difference.