MAND 2021 Winter Newsletter
Letter from our President
Here in Maine, winter brings us snow, ice, and temperatures below zero; it also brings us opportunities for outdoor recreation (a great reason to get out of the house in a socially-distanced way, just don’t forget your mask!), or a reason to curl up with a hot cup of tea or cocoa and a good book. Our MAND Membership Committee held its first book club meeting this month, and those of us who attended had a fun and lively conversation about The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty. It was great to have the opportunity to socialize with other MAND members from the comfort and safety of our own homes. Keep your eyes out for the next meeting of the book club this spring and the announcement of the next book we will be reading - and if you don’t have the chance to finish the book, please join us anyway! A book report is not expected, rather an open mind for an informal and fun conversation with other nutrition professionals.
Winter also brings the change of the calendar year, and I think after a complicated and trying 2020, we all were ready for the arrival of 2021. It’s hard to believe that with the new year brings the halfway point of my term as President. My time in this role has gone by quickly and has been an incredible opportunity to get to know even better the many ways RDs and DTRs serve Mainers. In particular, with the challenge of COVID-19, MAND members have had to adapt to new and complicated challenges and work in completely new ways. We have also had to work to make sure those most vulnerable were continuing to access and receive adequate nutrition under compounded circumstances in all areas of our field - in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient and private practices, to school nutrition and food services, in public health and community settings. I want to personally thank you all for the important work that you do, and your commitment to serving those who you work with to provide accurate, reliable, science-based nutrition information and services. I’d also like to thank my colleagues on the MAND Board of Directors. Our board has had to react quickly and make decisions as a team with the complication of COVID-19, and I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and I’m grateful for their creativity and flexibility.
The new year also brings much to look forward to, including our second fully virtual Spring Conference, Academy elections, and ongoing public policy work and engagement. Read on for more information about what’s to come and more from the rest of the MAND Board. And if you’d like to be more involved with MAND’s operations, I encourage each and every one of you to consider volunteering for an option position on the MAND Board or on one of our committees! It’s always helpful to have new and fresh voices on the call and we would love to have you. Thank you all again, and stay safe and warm!
Kristine Kittridge, MS, RD, LD
Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Member spotlight– Kay Mullin
Tell us about yourself!
I currently live in Cumberland, Maine and work in outpatient Pediatrics at Maine Medical
Center. I am a University of Maine graduate and have been practicing as a dietitian and certified diabetes educator for almost 30 years. Personally I live a really active Maine lifestyle loving my outdoor activities with friends and family. We live in an amazing place!
What are some of the favorite things about your current job(s)?
I love working with families on a nutrition plan that maximizes the health of their child. I currently support all of our pediatric specialty care practices at MMP Pediatric Specialty Clinics so every day and every child has a new and different need. It keeps me on my toes and I learn every day from my professional colleagues and patients.
What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes when you’re not working?
I love walking with my family and dog on the beautiful trails we have here in Southern Maine. Walking in the woods is my happy place.
What is your favorite food?
Honest answer: dark chocolate; dietitian answer: roasted Brussel sprouts.
Do you have any advice for new dietitians, dietetic interns, or students?
I think the most amazing thing about being a dietitian is that you can choose to constantly learn. Our background and education gives us a strong foundation to change directions and learn new things. Don’t be afraid to change jobs or directions to keep your brain and career fresh.
MAND Spring Virtual Conference 2021
Thursday and Friday, April 15-16th
6.5 CEUs of timely and dynamic topics available via webinar!
First 25 attendees to register will receive a Cabot Gift Basket with a $25 dollar value, don’t delay...register today! If you are unable to attend the live sessions, you will have access to session recordings. Sign up for one day or both. Sessions are 8:00am-12:15pm both days.
MAND Legislative Videos
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MAND will not be holding our annual legislative event in March. In lieu of a live event, MAND will be releasing a series of short videos. These videos will include nutrition professionals in various fields discussing the challenges and opportunities of the COVID-19 pandemic on dietetics. Stay tuned for more information!
Student Connection Mentors needed
Learning about the jobs held by nutrition professionals is vital for future RDN and NDTRs to understand and prepare for careers in the field. Students benefit from a range of interactions including a quick introduction to your work, to job shadowing, to volunteering. To become part of the mentor network for students in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Maine contact Eileen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in getting involved with MAND? We are seeking applications for the following 2021-2022 MAND Board Positions:
· Secretary/Bylaws Policy and Procedure
· State Regulatory Specialist
· Nominating and Awards Committee Member
· Conference Chair/Committee Member
· Membership Chair/Committee Member
· Sponsorship Chair
Positions allow for all levels of experience and varying time commitment, reach out to the Nominating Committee for a full list of openings, and detailed Board position descriptions.
For more information or questions about getting involved, send us an email at email@example.com- we want to hear from you! Don’t forget to visit our website www.eatrightmaine.org
COVID-19 has caused changes to the way nutrition students become involved on college campuses. Here at the University of Maine, our nutrition club has persevered through these challenges and continued to make a difference in the Bangor area community. Alissa Mathieu, Nutrition Club President, and other leaders on the board adjusted to the changes and successfully planned safe events and meetings throughout the fall semester.
All meetings were changed to online zoom meetings to accommodate everyone involved. On October 10th, 2020, a small group of students met at Treworgy Family Orchards to pick apples. The apples from this fun event were used in apple pies made for the Bangor Homeless Shelter. In total, the U-Maine nutrition club donated 7 apple pies to the shelter! Alissa said, “I would love to plan a similar event this semester as the entire experience was very rewarding.”
The club also held a virtual raffle on Instagram to support local small businesses in Orono, ME. The business's generous raffle donations allowed the club to give away a succulent arrangement from Mainely Succulents, a $20 Tacorita gift card, and $40 worth of gift cards from OHOP. This fundraiser was very successful and allowed many members to participate by quickly sharing the Instagram post. This fundraiser also brought awareness and support to local businesses that may be struggling during this time.
Another event that the club planned was an informational event about new courses being offered at the University. These courses include FSN 290 - Career Pathways in Human Nutrition and Dietetics taught by Professor Eileen Molloy, and FSN 406 - Nutritional Care of Older Adults taught by Professor Mary Camire. These new 1-credit courses will be offered this spring.
Despite all the changes that students are faced with during this pandemic, there are many students who are continuing to dedicate their time and volunteer in their communities. The nutrition club at U-Maine continues to do a wonderful job with many successes during the 2020-2021 year.
Junior dietetic intern
2020-2021 Student MAND Representative
The Academy’s House of Delegates met on Saturday, February 13th, 2021. The discussion around Nutrition and Health Equity continued, this time centering on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). The overall goal is to make recommendations to the Academy board of directors regarding a statement from the Academy to the USDA regarding this topic.
The objectives of the meeting were:
Understand the process involved in developing the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the role played by the Academy and its members;
Determine strengths and opportunities for improvement for making DGA resources more applicable to all;
Identify populations not adequately served by current iterations of DGAs, MyPlate and associated educational tools; and
Create framework to guide development of tools and resources for translation of DGAs for diverse groups.
The delegates engaged in very well-rounded conversation regarding the DGAs including both strengths of the program as well as areas for improvement. The delegates split into groups where we discussed populations that could be better served by the DGAs (MyPlate especially). As a whole ,the group agreed that there are several groups, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Americans as well as low income and disenfranchised Americans who could be better served by the DGAs and MyPlate. Recommendations were made by the group for creating a framework to guide development of educational tools and resources to help translate the DGAs for diverse groups.
For more information on nutrition and health inequities, visit this link for the Academy’s Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and Chronic Disease Issue Brief.
Wishing you a safe and happy season,
Rachael Hall, MS, RD, CSG, LD
Delegate for the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
What's New: The Academy
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day Contest
In celebration of National Nutrition Month® and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day in March, the Academy is hosting a special contest whose winner will be featured on a Times Square billboard in New York City, in Eat Right Weekly and other member communications. Learn More
March 1 Nomination Deadline: National Honors and Awards
Recognize those who have advanced the nutrition and dietetics profession, exhibited leadership and shown devotion to serving others. Submit a National Honors and Awards nomination by March 1. Learn More
RESTORE Study: Help Inform Academy’s COVID-19 Efforts
Registered dietitian nutritionists providing support to COVID-19 patients in the ICU are needed for the RESTORE Study (NutRitional CarE PracticeS and STatus Of SARS-CoV-2 PatiEnts). The study will involve entering weekly patient de-identified case data into the Academy’s Health Informatics Infrastructure from the time of admission through discharge from the ICU for three to six months. The study will help inform the Academy’s current COVID-19 efforts and future policy and advocacy initiatives, education and research. Learn More
Lifelong Learning Webinar Series
Earn Continuing Professional Education credits at your convenience through the Academy’s suite of recorded educational webinars. Our webinars cover emerging clinical topics, reimbursement issues, practice methods and more. Learn More
Call for Webinars
Do you have an idea for a webinar that would share your knowledge and benefit nutrition and dietetics professionals? The Academy is seeking proposals on beginner, intermediate and advanced-level topics. Learn More
Academy Urges That Food and Nutrition Professionals Receive Priority Access to COVID-19 Vaccine
Food and medical nutrition therapy is crucial in the prevention, treatment and recovery from the COVID-19 virus for all people. The Academy has sent a communication to all U.S. governors, urging them to include RDNs, NDTRs and their students and interns in the priority groups of those who should rapidly receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn More
Take Action! Welcome Your Members of Congress
The Academy has a new action alert to help you connect with and welcome your elected officials to the 117th Congress. Use this opportunity to highlight the key issues the Academy will be focused on and to let your members know that you are ready and willing to assist them as a resource in the legislative work ahead. Take action today!