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MAND Fall 2020 Newsletter

Letter from our President

Happy Fall! I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy some of the beautiful autumn weather we have had, as the cold snap starts to arrive and the days are getting shorter. During a year of unexpected twists and turns, the first all virtual FNCE just wrapped up. It was hard to know what to expect from a virtual multi-day, multi-session conference; the FNCE team did an incredible job of creating a virtual experience that felt very reminiscent of an in-person FNCE from previous years. They offered many engaging virtual sessions with live Q&A of the speakers, a virtual EXPO hall and DPG/MIG area, and many opportunities to engage with other attendees. It also came with the opportunity to watch any session you missed “on demand” for a full year– I’ve already taken advantage of that. While I’m hopeful we are able to return to a safe in-person event next year in New Orleans, the Academy now has successfully created a wonderful virtual platform that could be utilized again in the future.

Speaking of educational opportunities, please be on the lookout for more information on the MAND Spring Conference that will be in April 2021. We’ve got details that we’ll share with you soon!

Time has certainly seemed to have flown by this year, and I can’t believe we are almost halfway through our 2020-2021 MAND Board year. The Board has been hard at work planning the Spring Conference, working to expand member benefits and brainstorm fun member event opportunities (more to come, keep your eyes out for some virtual social events!), and staying engaged with public policy issues. We have also been working on and discussing how the MAND Board can continue to work on encouraging a diverse and inclusive profession - please help us with this by participating in the survey that is included in this newsletter.

Please continue to engage with us, send us your ideas and suggestions, or any questions you may have - you can always email us at

Sending you happy, healthy, and warm wishes for the upcoming holiday season!

Kristine Kittridge, MS, RD, LD

2020-2021 President

Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Member Spotlight– Patsy Catsos

Tell us about yourself!

I am a nutrition consultant, educator, and writer. In Maine, most people know me as a dietitian in private practice, seeing patients at Nutrition Works in Portland. I’m also the author of several books about FODMAPs and IBS, most recently The IBS Elimination Diet and Cookbook, and I've enjoyed teaching other health care providers about implementing low FODMAP diets with patients who have IBS, IBD, and other gastroenterology problems. As a consultant, I’ve also had various jobs over the years for corporate clients, most recently as an advisor and nutrition consultant to ModifyFoods LLC, where I’ve been involved in development of their low-FODMAP recipes and clinical program.

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

Undoubtedly, the most rewarding part of my job at Nutrition Works is working closely with my private clients to help them manage their GI symptoms. What a great feeling it is to hear that patients are enjoying their food and their lives more fully! I also love working as a consultant, which provides a great deal of self-determination, variety, and flexibility.

Why did you choose to practice in Maine?

As a 30-year Maine resident, Maine is where my heart is. Although in pre-COVID days my work often took me around the country, even around the world, nothing feels better than coming home.

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

Get-togethers with family, both near and far, are the highlights of my life. My husband, Paul, and I usually have plans in progress for fresh-air meetups to outsmart COVID and spend time with the people we love. On a day-to-day basis, I can be found cooking, gardening, reading, and especially walking and training the 2-year old dog we recently adopted.

What is your favorite food?

The meal I’ve had on repeat lately is an electric pressure cooker Thai-inspired sweet potato peanut curry.

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

Don’t try to do everything all at once; life happens in series! Allow your future to reveal itself even as it seems at times to meander. Give each job, even humble ones, 110%. Each job, each hobby, each volunteer opportunity, each client, each child you raise, each time you say “yes” to something outside your comfort zone, shapes you and prepares you for the next. When you look back someday, I hope you’ll be able to see how each experience and relationship led to others that were even richer and more meaningful than the ones you expected.


Congratulations to Patsy Catsos!

Congratulations to Patsy Catsos for winning the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Excellence in Practice Award for clinical nutrition!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honors individuals who have advanced the nutrition and dietetics profession, have exhibited leadership and have shown devotion to serving others in both nutrition and dietetics, as well as allied fields.

The Excellence in Practice Awards is given to honor Academy members who have demonstrated innovation, creativity and leadership in a specific area of practice, shown exceptional performance, contributed to the advancement of practice, and been effective and inspiring leaders in nutrition-related organizations.

Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD is a nationally-recognized FODMAP expert and has authored multiple books, most recently The IBS Elimination Diet and Cookbook. Her medical nutrition therapy practice in Portland, Maine centers on digestive health, including irritable bowel syndrome, gluten-related disorders, and inflammatory bowel disease.


Virtual FNCE 2020

This has been a time of many firsts, including the first ever virtual FNCE. The screen shot above is of the home page for finding education sessions, chat rooms, the Expo and other virtual versions of the in-person event. The platform was remarkably easy to navigate, and the format of the sessions made it easy to engage. The speakers were visible along with the presentation slides which made you feel as if you were really at a conference. There was a chat box that could be used during the sessions, and a separate place to submit questions for the speakers. The great news is that all the sessions will be available for the next year to access later!


MAND Updates

Marvelous Members Surprise Raffle Winners!

To show our value and support of our members, MAND conducted our first Random Raffle to give back and show our appreciation of our members. Using an electronic randomizer, we chose three of our own to receive either a registration to FNCE 2020 or a gift certificate to the Eatright Store. Congratulations are in order for our winners- Brooke Gowdy-Johnson, Amani Trouant, and Onycha Carlson! We hope to continue to brighten and enrich the lives of our members during these challenging and stressful times.


The MAND board of directors has been discussing ways that our organization can support diversity and inclusion in our profession and we would like your input as a member. Please take moment to complete this brief survey by November 15, 2020- MAND Diversity and Inclusion Survey.

Dietetic Interns graduate and are ready to join the profession

Congratulations are in order for three Dietetic Interns from the University of Maine who completed the MS/DI program at the University of Maine in August- Laurel Simone, Angela Czup, and Michele Chenard; MAND congratulates you all on your achievements! Each fall, ten interns join the MS/DI program and complete their program at staggered times throughout the year; they are then eligible for the credentialing exam as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

MAND Spring Conference April 2021

Save the Date- the MAND Spring Conference is scheduled for Friday April 16, 2021! The MAND Conference Committee is planning a virtual event again this year however if the health crisis improves, we will pivot to an in-person event as able. Be on the lookout for future updates!


MAND Book Club

Interested in joining a nutrition-focused book club? If so, please RSVP to to receive an invitation. An official date and time will be announced in December for the first virtual book club in January 2021. The first book is "The Cooking Gene" by Michael Twitty– click here for more information on the book.


House of delegates update

Dear MAND Constituents,

I would like to share with you what occurred at the 105th Annual House of Delegates Fall Meeting. The meeting was held virtually over Webex and the topic was A Systems Approach to Accelerating Nutrition and Health Equity. Pre-meeting outreach to constituents was not conducted, but rather will take place after the HOD meeting.

Delegates prepared for the meeting by reading and viewing relevant background information. The topic of Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a complex and multifaceted critical issue that needs to be addressed by our profession. This topic affects nutrition and dietetics practitioners across all practice areas; we must maximize and leverage opportunities to accelerate nutrition and health equity through a systems approach. To that end, the House of Delegates (HOD) will be devoting the 2020-21 program year to dialogue and action addressing various aspects of this issue, and the House Leadership Team (HLT) identified Accelerating Nutrition and Health Equity as the focus for the Fall 2020 meeting.

Delegates selected areas of interest for dialogue, deliberation, and action planning in the impact areas of Communications and Advocacy, Grassroots Efforts and Community, and Research. A goal of the meeting was to develop a list of feasible actions and tools that Delegates can become involved in and share with their organizational units and membership to promote grassroots efforts that will continue throughout the year ahead.

A big theme throughout the meeting was the concept of Cultural Humility. Many of the “spark sessions during which expert speakers shared their in-depth knowledge” focused on the topics of cultural humility, cultural competence, and implicit bias. These themes will flow through all future meetings during this 2020-2021 House of Delegates year as the HOD continue to discuss this important topic.

Further communication regarding the outcomes from the Fall meeting will be shared with members soon, so keep watch for that.

As your delegate, I am here to represent you, the members, at the Academy’s House of Delegates meetings and serve as your voice to the Academy and HOD. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at if you should have any questions or wish to provide input.

Have a great season,

Rachael Hall, MS, RD, CSG, LD

MAND Affiliate Delegate


What’s New: the Academy

Recruiting Now: Breastfeeding Registry Study

The Academy's Research, International and Scientific Affairs team is conducting a study using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Health Informatics Infrastructure to examine documentation practices of registered dietitian nutritionists working in areas related to breastfeeding and lactation. The researchers are recruiting RDNs including those who work in hospitals, inpatient and outpatient clinics, private practices, public health centers and other facilities that provide breastfeeding and lactation support. Click here to learn more.

Academy National Election

Nomination deadline is November 6th for all positions except president-elect, speaker-elect, and treasurer-elect which have passed.

FNCE 2021 Educational Sessions

Call for next year’s FNCE 2021 educational session proposals is open. Proposals will be accepted through November 18th. Visit this link for more information: FNCE 2021 Speaker Proposals

ACEND Proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics has released the proposed 2022 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Education Programs. A new webinar describes the recommended changes and the rationale for proposed changes. ACEND is also requesting your input on the draft 2022 Accreditation Standards. Public comments can be made until November 18, 2020. Visit this link for access to the feedback survey and more information: Proposed 2022 Standards + Feedback Survey

Action Alert: Ask USDA to Extend COVID-19 Flexibilities

Have you completed the action alert urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend COVID-19 flexibilities to protect at-risk pregnant mothers? If not, please take action now. This action alert is open to Academy members and non-members. For more information: Action Alert Center

Free COVID-19 Related Webinars

The Academy's free Front Line series of webinars is made possible by the support of the Foundation and its donors. Learn More

FREE Continuing Professional Education For Academy Members!

Orgain professional education series– Free webinars for continuing professional education—presented by subject matter experts—providing healthcare professionals with valuable and empowering information. Click here to browse scheduled and on-demand webinars for CPEU.

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