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President’s Fall Message

Happy Fall!

As we move into the holiday season, many of us will be busy spending time with friends, family, and cooking beautiful meals that will be posted on social media. Volunteering is probably the last thing on your mind and that is completely normal! Most people view volunteering as a daunting task that requires an extensive amount of time and effort, and in some cases, it does. However, volunteerism presents a unique opportunity to showcase your strengths, explore your interests, and widen your professional network. For example, many years ago I was actively job searching for a position in public health nutrition, while I was also serving on the executive board for my local district. At one of the district meetings, I connected with someone who told me about a job opening that I might be interested in. I applied for that job and eight years later, I am still working there! For these reasons, I strongly encourage each of you to devote time in engaging with our professional organization, as you will never know where the next path will take you. Below are some engagement activities you can complete this fall:

Join Your Local District or Region

  • Did you know that the CA Academy is divided into eight districts and two regions? By joining your local chapter, you can engage with your dietetic peers and enhance your professional network. Find your local district or region, by logging into the member dashboard and selecting your respected district/region.
  • The Los Angeles Region is back! Last year, the Los Angeles District transitioned to a regional model, and we are seeking volunteers who live in Los Angeles County to help form a Los Angeles Region (LAR) committee. The committee will be responsible for leading, planning and implementing activities for members in this region. If you are interesting in joining the committee, please complete the Los Angeles Region Committee Interest Google form by December 5, 2022.

Attend Our Town Hall Meeting

  • We are hosting a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, December 8th from 5:30 pm – 7 pm and it will be open to both members and non-members. The purpose of the town hall is to provide an opportunity to have an open dialogue with the CA Academy Executive Board about our policies and practices and receive feedback on current and future initiative. Registration for the town hall will be available in the coming weeks.

Complete the Action Alert to Stop Medicare Payment Cuts for Registered Dietitians

  • Registered Dietitians are facing a nearly 8.5% cut in their Medicare Part B Payments.Set to take effect on January 1, 2023, the payment reduction is a combination of two separate cuts. The first is a 4.42% cut created by a Medicare budget neutrality rule that requires Medicare to offset any increases it makes in the payment rates to any codes. The second, would be a 4% “PAYGO” cut triggered by spending in the American Rescue Act COVID-19 relief legislation.
  • Introduced by Representative Bera (CA) and Bucshon (IN), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is championing the Supporting Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (H.R. 8800) to address the 4.42% cut.
  • For Academy members, complete the Action Alert to Support Medicare Providers Act of 2022 (HR 8800) to address the payment cuts.
  • For non-Academy members, complete the public Action Alert.

Have a safe and healthy holiday season!

Fatinah Darwish-Elsherbiny, MPH, RDN
California Academy President 2022-2023

CA Academy’s Response to Academy Sponsorship

CA Academy President’s Message

Hello CA Academy Members,

Last week, two stories were released to the public about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) corporate sponsors. On October 24th, an article in the journal of Public Health Nutrition analyzed emails from former Academy President, Donna Martin which revealed that AND has accepted financial contributions from companies such as Hershey Co. and Coca-Cola, and invested in pharmaceutical and food industry stocks. The Washington Post highlighted the study’s findings. Note, the organization who obtained the emails, U.S. Right to Know has been investigating the origins of COVID-19, and one of the journal article authors has financial ties to an organization that opposes RDN licensure.

The Academy released a response pointing out the inaccuracies in both articles. While I can share some of these facts in this message, such as less than 3% of AND’s investments are in food companies, I would like to tell you what the CA Academy has been working on:

  • We proactively formed a sponsorship committee this year. The goal of the sponsorship committee is to review and update policies on how our organization accepts sponsors to ensure that it is aligned with our vision to “optimize California’s health through food, nutrition, cultural understanding, and health equality.” The sponsorship committee is open for all members. If you are interested in joining or learning more about it, please complete the Sponsorship Committee Google Form.
  • Our sponsorship policy was approved by the Executive Board on October 26th, 2022. The policy includes three core values – integrity, healthy food products and services, and transparency. Sponsors are encouraged to have environmentally responsible/sustainable business methods and practices. Sponsors will be asked to provide a description of their company that highlights these business methods and practices. The California Academy will promote transparency by selecting sponsors that that embrace science-based, sustainable, and ethical practices.
  • We will be hosting a town hall the first week of December that will be opened to both members and non-members. The purpose of the town hall is to hear from you and how we can improve our practices, including sponsorship policies.

As a dietetic professional and a member of the CA Academy, you will probably be receiving several questions and comments from your peers, friends, and strangers on social media. To help you respond, please see our suggested talking points below:

  • The article in Public Health Nutrition is not a comprehensive review of the Academy’s policies and procedures on corporate sponsorship. The information was largely on based on emails from a single Academy member. The authors used little, unconfirmed evidence to draw their conclusions and even stated that their analysis “was exploratory and not meant to be exhaustive.”
  • The financial investments of both the Academy and the Academy’s Foundation are managed by an independent investment company who has the sole authority to make decisions to invest or sell equities on the merits of the stocks themselves. The independent investment company makes the financial decisions to ensure returns meet the Academy’s policy requirements.
  • The Academy’s corporate sponsors do not represent the beliefs and values of all dietetic professionals. It is preposterous to assume that every Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is receiving funding and being influenced by the food industry.

Sponsorship will continue to be on the forefront of how we as an organization plan our continuing education events, networking events, and the upcoming 2023 annual conference. I look forward to having these conversations and identifying opportunities that support furthering our profession. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Fatinah Darwish-Elsherbiny, MPH, RDN
President, California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Hunger, Nutrition and Health National Strategy Update – from Public Policy VP Anet Piridzhanyan

Hello All,

We ended September with the very long-awaited White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health (1st one in 53 years!). I have attached a document detailing the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health from the White House.

National Strategy:
Pillar 1—Improve Food Access and Affordability
Pillar 2—Integrate Nutrition and Health
Pillar 3—Empower All Consumers to Make and Have Access to Healthy Choices
Pillar 4—Support Physical Activity for All
Pillar 5—Enhance Nutrition and Food Security Research

White-House-National-Strategy-on-Hunger-Nutrition-and-Health-FINAL 10-2022

Its a good read. =)

October continues to excite us with some movement around licensure with the AND Champions Exploration of RDN Licensure Compact.  

The Academy was selected through a competitive grant process for Department of Defense funding to work with the Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts on an interstate licensure compact for the dietetics profession.

Register today for an October 19 webinar, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, where representatives from the Academy, the Council of State Governments and the Department of Defense will detail the Academy’s exciting efforts to support the mobility of licensed registered dietitian nutritionists – particularly RDNs who are spouses of military personnel –through a potential new licensure compact for RDNs.

Check out the Action Center for additional policy related updates

Anet Piridzhanyan, MS, RD
Vice President, Public Policy

WATCH the recording: Interstate Compacts for Dietitians

RD Licensure Compact Exploration – Academy Champions

RDN Licensure Compact Exploration

Providing nutrition care services in multiple states, either in person or through telehealth, requires Academy members to become licensed according to each state’s requirements which can be time consuming and costly. One potential solution that would facilitate cost-effective interstate practice for licensed registered dietitian nutritionists is the formation of a licensure compact.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was selected through a competitive grant process for Department of Defense funding to work with The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts and explore an interstate licensure compact for the dietetics profession. The National Center for Interstate Compacts has provided technical and legal assistance to all the professional and occupational licensing compacts which have been developed or are currently under development.

Register today and join your fellow practitioners to hear representatives from the Academy, the Council of State Governments and the Department of Defense on Wednesday, October 19 from 2-3 p.m. (Central time) for a conversation about the Academy’s exciting efforts to support the mobility of licensed registered dietitian nutritionists—and particularly RDN military spouses—through the development of a new licensure compact for RDNs.

Vote for your California Academy leadership – coming February 2023!

Looking for work?

Take a look at the job postings available on our website. You might just find the perfect match! Click here.

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Registered Dietitian VS Nutritionist… what is the difference?

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