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MAND 2024 Winter Newsletter

Letter from Our President

Hello MAND members and welcome to the winter newsletter!

I hope everyone is having a great winter and staying warm. As I come into the latter half of my presidency year, I have been enjoying having a front seat watching the MAND Board at work! The MAND board is filled with very talented and dedicated members, all working to support the MAND community.

The Conference Planning Committee continues to plan the 2024 Spring Conference in beautiful Bar Harbor. Keep your eye out for an agenda– I hope to see you there! The Strategic Planning Committee continues its work and is currently completing an internal scan. Thank you to everyone who filled out our surveys. Our Nominating and Awards Chair, Jane Slyvestre, has also been working on developing a new volunteer opportunity focusing on food insecurity, stay tuned for more info!

Another one of our very busy committees, Public Policy, has been hard at work and is planning the annual Legislative Day. Nutrition policy has had an exciting few months and in November, the MNT act was reintroduced to Congress. The Academy requested statements from all affiliates to share with bill sponsors. MAND provided one and reads as follows: “Since Maine is the state with the highest percentage of elders, we greatly appreciate Senator Collins’, Chair of the Senate Committee on Aging, lead sponsorship for the reintroduction of the MNT Act. This important legislation will greatly improve access and expand our services to include all medical diagnoses currently limited to diabetes and renal disease thus improving the health outcomes of our nation’s most vulnerable individuals. The Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is in support of this act for Mainers.”

As we slowly come out of winter and head towards spring, it is time to start thinking about MAND Awards and Scholarships. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized? If so, complete the nomination form by March 1st. All awards will be given at our spring conference.

I would like to take a moment to give a special shout out to the person who helps us do all things MAND, Rachel Kelleher with the Academy Affiliate Services as she heads out for her maternity leave. We will miss you but go enjoy your little one! Carrie Kiley will be covering for Rachel while she is out. Please reach out if you have questions, comments, concerns, or would like to get more involved. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their winter!

In good health,

Sarah Gilbert, MS, RD, LD

President Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2023-2024


MAND Member Spotlight:

Laurie Curry Copithorne, MS, MBA, RD (CDN), FDC

Tell us about yourself!

I’m originally from Toronto, Canada and ended up in Maine about eight years ago. I’m living in Blue Hill with my husband and teenage daughter, and I’ve got to say living by the ocean is awesome. People often ask me how I went from a city of almost 3 million to a small fishing village of 1,200! I tell them to come check it out for themselves! Like many of you, I entered the world of food and nutrition in search of a ‘meaningful’ career. I really wanted to make a difference and be a credible voice for nutrition. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to do just that – making positive changes for consumers through things like product innovation and advocating for better food regulations. I even led the charge on making anaphylaxis a household name globally, working with industry, government, and families to make our food supply safer and healthier.

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

I’ve been a registered dietitian for over three decades, working in agriculture, food, nutrition, and health. I’m the founder of Food For Health, LLC, where I help food companies become leaders in health and wellness. My favorite part is helping them plan for a more affordable, accessible, nutritious, and sustainable food supply. And, during Covid-19 lockdown, I became a first-time author with a book called “How Big Food Will End Hunger and Can Save the Planet. A Roadmap for Transforming the World’s Food System.”

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

Absolutely! I got some great advice when I first started out about the importance of ‘giving back’ to the profession. I took it to heart and have been an actively volunteering in the profession ever since. Before moving to the U.S., I chaired and was an honorary patron for both the Dietitians of Canada and the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research. In 2017, I was recognized for my career and contributions to the profession by being named a Fellow of Dietitians of Canada. Since arriving in Maine in 2015, I have served on the MAND Board twice, and I’m currently the President-Elect.

What is your favorite food?

Hands down, nothing beats a Maine lobster roll – can’t get enough of those!

What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes when you’re not working?

Swimming (ocean and pool), cycling, skiing, hot yoga, hiking, cooking, reading, board games, and my daughter got me hooked on Wordle and now Connections on The New York Times daily puzzles.


MAND Student Spotlight: Emma Denbow

Emma is a student in the University of Maine MS/DI program and will be graduating this Spring. She is originally from Harrington, Maine. Get to know Emma in this student spotlight!

What made you decide to pursue a career in nutrition and dietetics?

When I began my undergraduate degree in 2018, I was confident that I wanted to study nursing… and then biology… and then health science. I actually changed my major three times and transferred colleges twice before finding myself in the Food Science and Human Nutrition program at the University of Maine. I love fitness and being active and I have always had an interest in the role nutrition plays in human health. Additionally, I've always seen myself working in healthcare in some capacity. Nutrition and dietetics combined these interests and ended up being the perfect career path for me.

What has been your favorite course you've taken?

The course was called Lipids, Diet, and Cardiovascular Disease. It was a very challenging course that I took during my first semester of graduate school. I learned a lot from it!

What has been your favorite internship experience?

I definitely gravitated toward my clinical rotations. I loved so many of my interactions with patients and found a lot of value in being able to apply the concepts I learned in class to real-life scenarios. It was really cool to witness the difference a clinical nutrition team can make during a patient’s admission.

What is your dream job in the field of dietetics?

I would like to spend some time working in a hospital as a clinical dietitian - when I chose to study nutrition, this was the route I was most interested in and my experiences during the internship validated that. I’m specifically interested in renal dietetics and I would love to take my career in that direction in the future.

What do you like to do outside of school? What are your favorite hobbies?

I love to do a lot of different things - running, hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing (although I’m not very good at it), reading, crocheting, spending time with family and friends, and hanging out with my cat (her name is Rosie).

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing an education in nutrition and dietetics?

Do it! There are so many directions you can take your career with an education in this field. I’m very grateful that I chose this major!


MAND Public Policy Update

2024 Legislative Luncheon

You are invited to this year’s Legislative Luncheon! This effort is organized by the Public Policy Panel with aims for nutrition professionals to educate, advocate and connect with their legislators. These relationships are vital in the process of promoting evidence-based health-related policy in Maine. The Legislative Luncheon will have a key focus on the role of nutrition professionals in rural communities.

This event will take place during National Nutrition Month on Thursday, March 14th, 12:00-12:50 at the Legislative Council Chamber at the Maine State House in Augusta. For more information, please contact Rebecca MacLean at We hope to see you there!

Medical Nutrition Therapy Act 2023 Reintroduction

Both MAND and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are excited to share that the Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) Act of 2023 was reintroduced in early November by Maine’s Senator Susan Collins. The MNT Act would increase Medicare Part B coverage for medical nutrition therapy for multiple diet-related conditions including, prediabetes, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, malnutrition, eating disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, including celiac disease, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS and any other condition causing unintentional weight loss. In addition, the MNT Act would authorize the Secretary of Health to include other diseases based on medical necessity and allow multiple providers (including nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, clinical nurse specialist and psychologist) to refer patients for medical nutrition therapy. This policy is a cost-effective way to improve equitable access to care, specifically in populations most at-risk for chronic disease. Leading up to the reintroduction, members of the Public Policy Panel worked diligently to spread the word, with press releases sent to multiple news outlets. Also, Rebecca Maclean, Marcy Kyle and Kayla Parsons attended a meeting with Senator Angus King’s staffers to advocate for the MNT bill, which was received positively. As of now, the bill has been referred to the committee on finance. We look forward to updating you in the upcoming newsletters.

Interested in how you can get involved in MAND’s Public Policy Panel? Please contact Kayla at



Hello again from your Maine delegate to the Academy’s House of Delegates (HOD)! I wanted to give you an update on each of the meetings I’ve attended since my last update. Below you’ll find some notes from each meeting, and then some updates or announcements from the Academy.

October Real Time Dialogue: Updates from the Academy CEO, President and Treasurer’s

We received updates from the Academy President Lauri Wright, from the new CEO of the Academy, Dr. Wylecia Wiggs Harris, and the Treasurer Krista Yoder. Please contact your Delegate

November Real Time Dialogue: Critical Issue Review

The HOD considers possible Critical Issues on a quarterly basis based on submissions from the Academy’s environmental scanning form. We reviewed submissions from August 1, 2023 through October 31, 2023 to determine when the issues should be addressed (now, vs the future) and also identify ways the Academy is working to address the issues submitted. Examples included:

  • Academy being at the forefront of Food as Medicine initiatives

  • Educational standards, including the Master’s requirement, critical thinking, AI training, Integrative and Functional Medicine content, and the structure of internships

  • Incongruent views on weight inclusiveness including non-diet approaches

  • IDEA, specifically reporting outcomes from mini grants so they can be published, the need for more accessible digital technology for those with disabilities, and the need for more black dietitians.

  • RDN shortages, including salary issues, rural areas, the Master’s requirement, oncology clinics, and public awareness of the profession

  • Sustainability, including plant-based diets, the need for more education on food and water sustainability for RDN’s, carcinogenic chemical use in agriculture, and climate change.

  • Licensure mobility

  • Ethics, specifically need for more monitoring of RDNs on social media

  • Population health, including need for more education on social determinants of health and balancing consumer perception with science.

  • Sponsorship/Communications, including the perception of RDNs working with the food industry and membership to the Academy dropping due to sponsorship and communications

  • Telehealth

  • AI/technology

  • Marketing the RDN

  • NDTR visibility and utilization

  • Student Enrollment

If you’d like to submit a critical issue, here is the environmental scanning form:

December Real Time Dialogue: Advocacy and Licensure Compact

The HOD received updates on policy initiatives and had a presentation from Advocacy Team. Topics included Affinity Group reports, update on what groups are offered, reminders about ANDPAC, updates on the Advocacy Summit, ways delegates can be more involved in public policy and advocacy, and a question and answer session.

January Real Time Dialogue: Artificial Intelligence Critical Issue

The HOD discussed Artificial Intelligence as a critical issues, we had prework to complete prior to the meeting to have a baseline understanding of examples of ways AI can intersect with the field of dietetics, and then we broke into breakout rooms to answer a variety of questions, which included if AI is being used in the workplace and if so is there a policy around AI use, if anyone is seeing patients or clients using AI for nutrition or diet advice and if anyone is aware of other healthcare professionals utilizing AI instead of referring patients to RDNs, and what resources or trainings would be helpful around AI. The breakout rooms then discussed overarching themes with the large group.


The Council on Future Practice (CFP) is currently working on a new change driver brief focused on disaster preparedness, and they would love to collect some experiences from Academy members who have lived and worked through natural disasters, including but not limited to tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and/or droughts. Please share take this short survey to help the CFP gain insights into what Academy members have experienced and what they wished they had known about being prepared.


MAND Spring Conference 2024

We are excited to announce the 2024 MAND Spring Conference will be held in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine, at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel on Friday, April 26th, 2024.

This year’s conference will feature four diverse and unique one-hour speaker sessions and two one-hour research and practice brief sessions featuring several clinical and community-based speakers to meet our membership’s broad interest range. Please see the agenda for the conference below.

Conference registration is now open! Secure your spot by registering here.


MAND Updates

Membership Committee Update

The membership committee would like to express our gratitude for your membership in MAND. Your membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the state affiliate helps to support the work of RDNs and DTRs and further the profession.

The MAND membership committee is planning some fun events in the upcoming months. Be sure to keep an eye out for those!

We appreciate your insight and thoughts. Thank you to those who participated in the recent online surveys in support of MAND Strategic Planning. If you have any ideas for what you would like to see as a member, please email the membership committee at Thank you once again for being a valued member with MAND and we look forward to seeing you soon.

The Membership Committee

Holly Carle, Chair

MAND Communications

The MAND leadership team communicates with members through several channels.

  • This newsletter is sent out four times a year via email and posted to our website. This spring you will also receive a copy to your mailbox!

  • We have a website If you have not been to the website recently check it out to become familiar with the resources posted there. There is a member only section to the website with the password of “strategy”.

  • If you have nutrition news to share with other members, take advantage of the submission button on the members section of the website.

  • MAND also sends out information via email to members. You can look for this twice a month-about the 10th and 25th of the month.

  • We have a Facebook account that you can follow at

  • And, we have a Linked-In page -

Join us on all of our platforms!


MAND Future Dietetic Professional Scholarship

The Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is pleased to offer two $500 scholarships yearly to students planning a career as nutrition and dietetics professionals. The award is for use for the next semester. The executive board will announce the winners at the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual spring conference. The recipient receives free attendance at the conference.

To be eligible to apply for this award, you must be either:

  • A full-time student in your junior or senior year (but not the final semester) in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Program at the University of Maine;

  • A student in the Dietetic Internship Program at the University of Maine;

  • A student in the University of New England - FG - Future Education Model Graduate Program with supervised practice hours taking place in Maine;

  • A resident of Maine enrolled in an ACEND-accredited program and is not graduating in the current semester;

  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergraduates) or 3.3 (graduate students);

  • Be a member of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Judges will award one scholarship to an undergraduate student and one to a graduate student. If all applicants fall into one of the two categories, the judges will award both scholarships to either graduate or undergraduate students.

Complete the online application by March 1, 2024 and include the following documents:

  • A statement (not to exceed 300 words) on your professional goals and career plans

  • Include reasons for your career choice and what contributions you would like to make to your profession. How do you plan to exercise leadership within your profession in the future?

  • An updated transcript (unofficial transcripts will be accepted).

  • A brief statement of support from a faculty member at your institution

Scholarship application link can be found here.


We are now accepting applications for MAND Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

MAND has volunteer positions each year, and we'd love your help! Join us and learn valuable leadership and collaboration skills while helping to advance MANDs mission. MAND Board and Committee Members must be members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

We're looking for volunteers for the following leadership opportunities in 2024-2025:

  • President-Elect

  • Treasurer-Elect

  • Annual Conference Committee member

  • Membership chair/ committee member

  • Nominating and Awards Committee Member

  • Student Representative

  • Affiliate delegate

  • Sponsorship chair

  • State regulatory specialist

Apply by clicking here and complete the form by March 1st.

You can check out a brief description of each position by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please email our Nominating Committee Chair or Executive Director at or


MAND Awards

It's time to start thinking about who you will nominate for a MAND 2024 Award!

We will be seeking award nominations for excellent nutrition and dietetic students and professionals for awards to be given at the spring conference in 2024. All recipients must be Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics members.

Emerging Dietetic Leader

Open to any RDN or RDT who has practiced 5-10 years, is active (paying member in good standing) in the Academy (national, state, or district) for five years, and has not previously been selected. The recipient should also demonstrate concern for the health & nutritional status of the population and exhibit leadership.

Outstanding Dietitian of the Year

Open to all active RDNs (paying and in good standing) in the national, state, or district academy, not previously selected, and have demonstrated leadership.

Recognized Dietetic Technician of the Year

Open to an RDT active in a national, affiliate, or district academy (paying member in good standing), not previously selected, demonstrated concern for promoting optimal health and nutritional status of the population, and leadership.

Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year

Open to an RDN 35 years of age or younger by May 1, 2022, active in the national, state, or district academy (paying member in good standing), not previously selected, demonstrated concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the population and leadership.

Outstanding Dietetic Student (3 awards available)

Outstanding Dietetic Student- Open to students who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and professional potential. One award each in the following categories:

1. Dietetic Intern

2. Undergraduate in a didactic program in dietetics

3. Graduate in a dietetic program

To submit an award nomination, please click here and complete the application by March 1, 2024.

If you have any questions, please email our Nominating Committee Chair (Nominations and Awards Chair) or


What's New - The Academy

Project Vote is back for the 2024 Academy election! Affiliates have been grouped by membership size into four categories. The affiliate with the highest percentage of voters in that category will receive one free registration to FNCE® 2024. Let's make MAND one of the highest rated groups for voter turnout! Voting progress by state can be tracked here. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics election takes place February 1 through February 15, 2024. Click here to view more information and vote.

Nutrition-Focused Physical Exam Hands-On Training Workshops (Live Virtual)

Through expert guidance, learn the skills and techniques an RDN needs to accurately provide a nutrition diagnosis of malnutrition. Attendees benefit from real-time feedback, which increases their confidence and skill level. Registration is open for Adult Live Virtual NFPE Workshops on March 20 and 21 and April 10 and 11. Ten CPEUs are available for completion of the workshop.

New Academy Position Paper on MNT for Adult Obesity

Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this position paper highlights how RDNs provide effective, client-centered behavioral interventions for adults with obesity.

Award and Grant Applications: Deadline February 20

The Academy Foundation is accepting applications for research grants and recognition, continuing education, program development, and international awards. Opportunities for funding are available for credentialed practitioners, educators, students and more. Apply by 5 p.m. Central time on February 20.

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