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MAND 2023 Spring Newsletter

Letter from our President

Greetings and happy spring! Thank you to those who participated in the MAND spring conference on April 28 in Freeport. It was joyful to talk with colleagues from around the state. The speakers were inspiring. It was great to recognize colleagues with the Affiliate Awards in-person again. Kudos to the Conference Planning Committee for a job well done!

Our Board year will wind down as Sarah Gilbert prepares to assume her role as president on June 1. I would like to express a heart-felt thank you to the MAND Board and Committee members for their work this past year. It has been a great pleasure to witness your contributions from up close. Many of the Board members will continue on in the same or new roles. I will stay on in the role of past president and member of the Strategic Planning Committee. We will also welcome new voted and appointed Board members. We are excited for them to share new ideas and perspectives.

It was wonderful to have Carrie Kiley, Director House of Delegates and Affiliate Relations, join us to assist with our conference and give a readily applicable talk on Managing Leadership Styles to Maximize Your Professional Path. Thank you to Rachel Kelleher and Carrie for all they have done over the past year in support of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Congratulations to the recipients of the Affiliate Awards and Scholarships. I hope readers will be motivated by this year’s celebration of winners to nominate a colleague next year!

It was a pleasure to accompany Kayla Parsons to the State House to award the MAND Public Policy Leadership Award to Representative Michele Meyer. In talking with Michelle, she reaffirmed her commitment to adequate nutrition and access to healthy foods for all.

To our MAND members- keep up the good work you do every day to promote the health of Maine people.

Best wishes,

Sue Sullivan, DSc, RD

President, Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2022-2023



Tell us about yourself!

My name is Jane Sylvestre and I am a registered dietitian. Two years ago, my husband and I built our dream home on Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, Maine, where we enjoy the natural beauty and year-round opportunities for outdoor activities. I particularly enjoy skiing (both downhill and cross country) during the winter and kayaking and running in the summer. I have even completed eight marathons, one of which I ran with a patient who had lost 100 pounds, and I frequently participate in 5Ks with my patients.

What are some of the favorite things about your current job(s)?

As a dietitian with over 30 years of experience, I have specialized in bariatric surgery for the last 14 years. I work virtually full-time for a bariatric practice and maintain my own virtual private practice on Fridays. I find my work very rewarding, as I play a crucial role in helping patients live healthier and more active lives. I make sure that my patients understand how to change their lifestyles so that their weight loss lasts a lifetime. Currently, I am also pursuing a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN) through Rutgers University, which I hope to complete by the summer of 2025. My goal is to become a professor of nutrition.

Why did you choose to practice in Maine?

I landed in Maine because of my love for staying active and have been a member of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND) since I moved here. I immediately added my name to the MAND ballot and was honored to become a member of the nominating and awards committee. Through this position, I have met many inspiring dietitians and am excited to chair the committee next year.

What is your favorite food?

Indian cuisine!

Do you have any advice for new dietitians, dietetic interns, or students?

If you are a new dietitian, a dietetic intern, or a student, my advice is to get involved! Joining the board of the academy and becoming active in dietetic practice groups can help you make valuable connections with other professionals. If you're interested in joining the MAND board for the 2024-2025 term, please feel free to contact me at or call me at 401-286-2015. I'd love to chat with you about the positions that will be coming available.


MAND Spring Conference 2023

The MAND annual conference was held on Friday, April 28 in Freeport. Over 90 attendees, including members, students and non-members took advantage of the chance to learn and obtain CPE credits, as well as network and reconnect in person with friends and colleagues. Prior to the conference, on Thursday evening, attendees had another opportunity to socialize at a networking event at Cadenza, also in Freeport.

The day’s packed agenda featured the following speakers and presentations:

  • Jasmine Westbrooks, MS, RDN, LDN, CDES and Ashley Carter, RDN, LDN from Eat Well Exchange, opened the conference with a high-energy, thought-provoking presentation on “Culture Focused Nutrition”. They provided a wide-ranging background on the importance of seeking input from members of diverse communities when developing materials and programs. Through numerous visual examples, the speakers emphasized the need for nutrition professionals to provide culturally accurate and relevant food and nutrition recommendations, which not only demonstrates respect and professionalism, it boosts client success, too.

  • The Minnesota Vikings’ Head Sports Dietitian, Remi Famodu-Jackson, PhD, RDN, CSSD gave attendees and insider’s tour of what it’s like to work with professional athletes in her presentation, “Tackling Nutrition in the National Football League”. Covering both the daily challenges and the many opportunities of her current position, she entertained the group with anecdotes and lessons learned in her winding career journey to the world of top-tier sports nutrition.

  • Maine’s own Marcy Kyle, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND presented “Population Health Management: Integrating Clinical with Community Care.” In addition to discussing pertinent aspects of value-based patient-centered care, Marcy reviewed how RDNs are well-qualified to help measure and report patient outcomes associated with MNT (as well as perform this role on a larger scale). Marcy also pointed out that the AND has a comprehensive toolkit available to help members with these efforts; download your copy of “RDNs in the New Primary Care: A Toolkit for Successful Integration” free from the website’s Career Development section.

  • Elizabeth Pearce, MD, MSc, Professor of Medicine at Boston University, presented a fascinating overview of the importance of prenatal nutrition, with an emphasis on iodine, and the history of iodine guidelines and supplementation in the US and other countries.

  • “Building Hope Through Nutrition for all Maine Neighbors” was the theme of Denise Gaudette and Meg Brown of Good Shepherd Food Bank. The duo spoke about Good Shepherd’s wide range of programs and initiatives. They also introduced attendees to the Nutrition for ME website ( It features a collection of nutritious and economical recipes that can be searched by course or by ingredient. We are all invited to submit a recipe to the site using the “Suggest a Recipe” button.

  • Carrie Kiley, MBA, concluded the day’s presentations with the practical, real-world topic, “Managing Leadership Styles to maximize Your Professional Path.” Ms. Kiley’s business acumen was evident as she walked attendees through a variety of management style scenarios along with coordinating tips to make the most of team resources and talents.

We are grateful for the support of the following sponsors for helping to make our spring 2033 conference a success:

Northern Light Health

The University of Maine Institute of Medicine

The University of Maine, Online and the School of Food and Agriculture

The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council

The Maine Chapter of the Fulbright Association

The Maine Nutrition Council and Cabot Cheese


MAND Communications

Stay in touch with MAND by accessing all of these communication resources:

  • This newsletter is sent out four times a year via email and posted to our website. Our new goal is to also send a physical copy of the newsletter to your physical address in the spring.

  • Our website has both a public facing and members only section. The password for members is “strategy”. You can submit your own nutrition news to share that can be added to the quarterly newsletter there.

  • MAND also sends out information via email to members twice a month.

  • We have a Facebook account that you can follow us at:

  • And, we have a brand new Linked-In page -

Join us on all of our platforms!


MAND Updates

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Virtual Summit

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics held the annual Advocacy Summit from March 28th to March 30th. During this three-day summit, hundreds of nutrition professionals gathered virtually to gain deep insight and skill sets in advocacy. This year, key policies discussed that directly impact the dietetic profession included the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act and the Farm Bill. To learn more about these bills, I strongly encourage you to visit, where you can find issue briefs and recommendations from the Academy.

Marcy Kyle, Melissa Page and Kayla Parsons advocated for these policies to both Senator Susan Collins’s and Senator Angus King’s staffers. Both policies were well received, with staffers agreeing that these initiatives would make strides in improving access to care and are essential in the improvement of overall health outcomes for the people of Maine.

2023 MAND’s Public Policy Leadership Award Recipient

Each year, MAND celebrates public policy leaders who have demonstrated outstanding service and support for nutrition and health issues that are of importance to MAND and the public. It was with great pleasure that this year MAND awarded Representative Michele Meyer, of District #150 (Eliot, Kittery, and South Berwick).

Representative Meyer was nominated by one of her constituents, Heather Healy, RDN, and was chosen by the board due to her obvious passion for wellness promotion. Representative Meyer is both a registered nurse and the House chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. She has previously collaborated with MAND in preparation to sponsor LD 1373 (HP994) “Resolve, to Reduce MaineCare Spending Through Targeted Nutrition Interventions.”

Dr. Sue Sullivan, current MAND president, and Kayla Parsons, MAND’s Public Policy Coordinator, connected with Representative Meyer at Maine’s State House to gift her this year’s award, an engraved wooden ladle. Representative Meyer is a distinct leader in health promotion, and thus is well deserving of the 2023 Public Policy Leadership Award.


MAND 2023 Future Dietetics Scholarship Recipients

Amelia Fay Sullivan

Amelia is a graduate student at the University of Maine having received her BS Magna Cum Laude at the University and has been on the Dean’s list since 2019. Her GPA is 3.95. Amelia has been a MAND and Academy member since 2019. Amelia has been active on MAND's Annual Conference Planning Committee. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Maine American Public Health Association, and the Society of Nutrition Education & Behavior, as well as a past president of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society.

Amelia is praised by faculty. Her scholarship letter of recommendation included “Amelia has impressed me by her intelligence, hard work, inquisitiveness, and thoroughness. I place her at the top 5% among the hundreds of undergraduate students and graduate students. At this stage of her career, her productivity has been high; evident through her 11 publications including abstracts to National Associations and her 6 oral presentations locally and nationally. This is indeed an achievement for an MS student.”

Paige Nicole Mason

Paige is a graduate student at the University of New England in Applied Nutrition-Dietetics with a GPA of 3.96. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition, MAND, and the Maine Nutrition Council.

Paige is a Research Assistant for a National Competitive Food Study from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health & Center for Health Inclusion, Research, and Practice (CHIRP) at Merrimack College. She indicated that her role includes data collection on competitive foods sold in both middle and high schools in Maine during the school day. Her volunteer work experience consists of a 2022 UNE research project and a 2022 older adult Nutrition Workshop where she collaborated with other MSAN-Dietetic students to host a virtual Mini Age-Well workshop with Legacy Scholars from the Center for Excellence in Aging and Health through the University of New England. year. The faculty person recommending Paige did so with no hesitation and stated that “I have also had the opportunity to speak with her other Faculty members who agree she would be a highly qualified student and works incredibly hard to be successful.”


MAND's 2023 Awards

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year: Jade McNamara, Ph.D., RD

Dr. Jade McNamara has been an Assistant Professor of Human Nutrition School of Food and Agriculture, University of Maine, since 2018. During that year she was awarded a Ph.D. in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, from the University of Rhode Island, with an Emphasis on Human Nutrition. She completed her dietetic internship at URI the same year. In addition, Jade received her BS and MS in Human Nutrition from West Virginia University.

The listing of articles she has coauthored in peer-reviewed journals is extensive. She has also coauthored textbook chapters and has a comprehensive list of selected published abstracts. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Within MAND, she has served as the Conference Planning Chair (2022-20223) and was a committee member in 2021-2022.

The individual nominating Jade stated:" Dr. McNamara encourages her students to embrace leadership roles as researchers, allowing them to gain many skills, including a deeper understanding of program development, statistical analyses, and professional writing. Jade encourages her students to become involved in research and has also immersed herself as a PI in three federally-funded research projects. These projects include the creation of Maine Farm and Sea to School Institute, initiating community-based participatory research to increase health-related quality of life in college students, and developing a web-based program to support maternal health of rural, low-income women using a community-based participatory approach. Her dedication to nutrition research is inspirational and contagious, helping to shape the next generation of behavioral nutrition researchers.”

Amelia Sullivan, Jade McNamara, Kayla Parsons

Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year: Kayla LaShelle Parsons, MS, RDN, LD

Kayla is a genuine UMaine student, having received her BS and MS there, and in 2022 began as a Ph.D. candidate in Food and Nutrition Sciences. She also completed her dietetic internship within UMaine’s program in 2021. Earlier this year, Kayla earned an Interprofessional Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Maine.

She has been both a student and graduate research assistant. She is a graduate research assistant within the University of Maine's School of Nursing and the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. In addition, she is a lecturer in the University of Maine's School of Food and Agriculture, Food and Nutrition 101. She has publications and presentations and coauthored published manuscripts. Earlier this year, Kayla received the Northeast Region Graduate Student Employee of the Year and the University of Maine’s Graduate Student of the Year. She is a member of the Academy, MAND, and American Public Health Association, to name of few.

Two individuals nominated Kayla for this award. What they said about her in their nominations includes: “Kayla Parsons has taken a leadership role on the Public Policy Panel. This role is awe-inspiring as this committee had the difficult task of providing a language for rulemaking within our dietetic license. In addition, Kayla liaised with AND Public Policy leaders, rallied a committee of all new members without experience, and shared results with the MAND Board. I was impressed by her leadership, poise, and confidence. She also re-instituted the legislative event and has been working with her colleague, the state policy rep. to make that event a success, especially as she is a relatively new RDN! She fully deserves to be recognized for her efforts. Her other nominator said, "Kayla has proven that she is an incredibly hard-working and dedicated dietitian. She has immersed herself in MAND's BOD and has shown that she has great potential with her career's future.”

Recognized Dietetic Technician of the Year: Francesca Dibiase

Francesca is a dietetic technician at Maine Medical Center in Portland. She graduated from SMCC in 2019 with an associate degree in Dietetics and Nutrition and then in 2021 from the University of Maine with a BS in Food Science and Human Nutrition. After graduating and passing her dietetic technician exam, she began working at Gorham House Nursing Home/Rehab Center, then on to MMC, where she has been since. She plans to apply to a graduate/DI program in the upcoming year.

The MAND member who nominated Francesca stated in their nomination submission: “Francesca is a highly motivated DTR who provides excellent patient-centered care. She is a dedicated team player and has an incredibly positive attitude. Francesca was recognized for her efforts as Employee of the Month within her first 6 months at Maine Medical Center for jumping into a busy environment with a can-do attitude and her willingness to support her team members and provide excellent patient care.

Outstanding Dietetic Student of the Year- Didactic Program: Jenn Spann

Jen Spann is a senior in the Didactic Program in Dietetics at the University of Maine. She will graduate in May of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in food science and human Nutrition, a concentration in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, and a GPA of 3.97. She is a member of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society. Jen has worked as a TA for Fundamentals of Chemistry and as a Research Assistant in Dr. Li’s broccoli sprout lab where she has created educational materials and recipes for clinical trials. She is on the MAND board as a student representative and joined MAND in 2021.

The MAND member who nominated Jenn stated in her nomination that “In her nutrition courses, the faculty know her as a bright, insightful, responsible, and determined student. Jen plans to continue her career path toward credentialing as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist by completing a combined MS and Dietetic Internship."

Outstanding Dietetic Student of the Year - Coordinated Program: Amelia Fay Sullivan

Amelia is also a winner of a MAND 2023 Future Dietetics Scholarship award. Please see her write up under Scholarship Award.

The MAND member nominating Amelia for this award stated: “Amelia has participated in the conference committee this year as a committee member. She took careful minutes of all meetings, contributed ideas, and liaised with the event venue where the social event occurred while she was in her dietetic internship rotations. Her dedication to the dietetic profession and our professional organization demonstrate that Amelia is poised to become a great leader in MAND.”


Support Your Foundation’s new Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign

Your Academy Foundation has just launched the Make It a Million Scholarship Campaign. Our goal is simple. We want to raise $1 million dollars in new scholarship revenue by June 1, 2025. These new dollars will allow the Foundation, starting in the 2025-2026 academic year, to give $1 million dollars in scholarships annually for dietetics students at all levels of study – from undergraduate studies to obtaining a doctorate degree. This effort and Foundation scholarships will continue to emphasize inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

Our Foundation opens its annual scholarship application within its application portal in mid-February each year with a deadline in mid-April. Students at all levels of study, including those enrolled in freestanding ACEND-accredited dietetic internship programs, are eligible to apply. The scholarship application process is relatively easy with one application. By completing the Foundation's singular scholarship application, applicants are automatically considered for all Foundation scholarships that they meet the eligibility criteria for. Foundation scholarships range in value from $500 to $25,000 each.

Fast forward to the present. For the 2022-2023 academic year our Academy Foundation awarded a record $860,250 in scholarships to support to more than 300 deserving students. The Foundation, with attention on inclusion, diversity, equity and access; nearly 60% of the individuals who received scholarships disclosed on their applications that they identify as a member of an underrepresented race/ethnicity. However, despite this impressive growth in the number of scholarships granted over the years, the demand for scholarships continues to outnumber the scholarships the Foundation can award almost three to one.

Foundation Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Members Our Foundation makes an impact throughout the profession, including with members of the MAND. Over the last three years, your Foundation has invested $6,000 in MAND members by providing scholarship, awards and research grants to these deserving individuals. Lindsey Mcvey and Peter Pace, are MAND members who are Foundation Scholarship recipients.

To reach our $1 million goal I’m asking that every MAND member make a donation. Every dollar helps us get closer to our goal. There is no better way to invest in our profession by helping to build the next generation of food and nutrition professionals. You may make your gift online by contributing directly to the Foundation’s Make it a Million Scholarship Campaign Fund or to the Foundation’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Fund which supports students from diverse cultures and backgrounds. A donation to either Fund will count toward the goal to award $1 million in scholarships annually. Once you have donated, visit our Make It a Million homepage and download social media graphics and messages to share and encourage other Academy members to give generously. Thanks for considering a donation to this campaign!


What's New - The Academy

New: Brain Health Academy

Brain Health Academy 2023 launches this May with six new courses for health and wellness professionals. This year’s seminars cover obesity, diabetes, hearing loss, depression, smoking and alcohol use. Each course reviews what is known about the relationship of the risk factor to dementia and provides practical, culturally competent strategies and resources for prevention and treatment for patients and people you serve. These courses provide valuable information about ways to support brain health as we age. Learn more and enroll here.

ADVANTAGE Project Webinar Series

The Academy is working with NICHD on a project called ADVANTAGE Project, which aims to better understand the intersection of food systems, diet, nutrition and health in a changing environment by addressing how the current realities of climate/environmental change are affecting dietary choices, patterns, and relevant aspects of the food system, as well as implications for specific public health outcomes of interest. This project is funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development and is facilitated by NICHD and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To learn more and to register for the webinars, click here.

Become an ANDPAC Member Today!

ANDPAC uses donations — not Academy dues — to support political candidates for federal congressional office and who are aligned the Academy's mission, vision and public policy priorities in the following impact areas: disease prevention and treatment; lifecycle nutrition; health food systems and access; quality health care; and health equity. ANDPAC is non-partisan and the only political action committee broadly focused on food, nutrition and health. By making a contribution to ANDPAC, you are supporting the future of our profession and America's health! Learn more and make a donation to ANDPAC today!

Membership Renewal Social Media Toolkit

After you've renewed your Academy membership for 2023-2024, spread the word online with this new social media toolkit. Download graphics and messaging to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. A selection of special graphics is available for each DPG and MIG you join. Learn more

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