Michigan RD/RDNs in the News
Michigan Academy Members Receive National Honors!
Honored at FNCE in Chicago, October 21-24, 2017
Barbara Jacobs Ivens, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND
Jointly bestowed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Trailblazer Award recognizes exceptional leaders who have advanced the science at the nexus of nutrition/dietetics and food science for at least five years. This award is conferred upon a leader, preferably a joint member of the Academy and IFT, who has demonstrated innovative contributions to improve health among underserved populations through a least one aspect of food science and technology, and has exhibited intellectual courage in research, instruction and/or communication at this intersection.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Medallion Awards, given each year since 1976, honor Academy members who have shown dedication to the high standards of the nutrition and dietetics profession through active participation, leadership and devotion to serving others in dietetics and allied health fields. Several awards are given each year to those members whose dedication to the Academy and service to the profession serve as an example to all. No more than three former BOD members may receive this award in any given year.
Excellence in Practice: Dietetics Education
Lorraine J. Weatherspoon, PhD, RDN
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Excellence in Practice Awards recognize outstanding registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, who have demonstrated innovation, creativity and leadership in a specific area of practice. The awards are given in several practice categories, including Clinical Nutrition; Community Dietetics; Consultation and Business Practice; Dietetics Education; Dietetic Research; Dietetic Technician, Registered; and Management Practice, to honor Academy members who have demonstrated exceptional performance, contributed to the advancement of practice, and been effective and inspiring leaders in nutrition-related organizations.
Excellence in Practice Award-2016
Alice Jo Rainville, PhD, RD, CHE, SNS, FAND
Excellence in Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Award-2016
Kate Geegan, MS, RDN and Lisa Sisson MM, RDN
Spotlight on the RD: Jennifer Fillenworth
List the top 10 things you've done in your career since graduating a mere, three years ago.
Time sure has flown by these past few years! Looking back on my short yet busy career so far I can easily think of 10 things that have left a lasting impression.
- Becoming a preceptor for dietetic interns. They are with you almost every second of your working life for months at a time. It’s great to see them learn and grow into the dietitian they would like to be. It's important to educate the future of the dietetics profession. They learn from you and you will learn from them in return.
- Being a part of a DI Selection Committee. It’s incredibly difficult to make those decisions, but also rewarding to see those that worked hard get matched.
- Gaining experience with mental health. Working in the psychiatric medical unit at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s has taught me to be an advocate for anyone battling with mental health. It’s an underserved and underfunded area that can use support from everyone. I have been fortunate to be there for patients during their time of need.
- Continuing my education. I am currently finishing my Masters in Nutrition through Central Michigan University. The program continues to push me to learn more about the field of dietetics and the importance of continued research.
- Making connections with other health care professionals. Getting to know and work with different disciplines is crucial to success of a clinical dietitian. Learn all you can from physicians, nurses, pharmacy, social work, and other therapies. They will likely learn a lot from you as well. I have been seeing patients in conjunction with one of our speech therapists recently. We have learned a great deal from each other and I think it's creating a better experience for the patient.
- Getting involved with media for the hospital. It’s a lot of work, but it’s an absolute blast to do. It’s something that has opened a lot of doors for me and for that I am thankful.
- Blogging and working with GRNow.com. Working closely with the Grand Rapids food scene has been an incredible experience. I get to learn so much about everyone’s backgrounds and stories. I love making these connections and highlighting the community.
- Traveling to Banff for the 2016 Ketogenic Global Symposium. I traveled to this beautiful location to learn anything and everything about the ketogenic diet. I met people from all over the world. On my last day, I even went on a horseback ride through the Canadian Rockies. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
- Growing our ketogenic diet clinic. In one year we went from about 5 adult patients on the ketogenic diet to over 30! That’s a lot of educations, routine labs, and emails…but it’s absolutely worth it to see the benefits.
- Last but certainly not least. Befriending some of the most genuine, intelligent, and hardworking dietitians. I don’t know what it is, but Saint Mary’s has attracted some absolute rock star dietitians. Everyone that I have met has a different area of interest and approach with patients. It's important to have colleagues that you can learn from that will make you a better dietitian.
You've done an amazing job in the field of neurology. Tell us about your specific work with seizure patients.
I have been working with epilepsy patients on the ketogenic diet for a year now. During that time, our program has experienced rapid growth! We are currently completely booked until the Fall, but this shows that this diet works. I have heard almost every patient say their seizures have significantly declined in frequency or intensity. Some of these patients are even having their medications reduced. We often sit in a room reviewing their current diet and the ketogenic diet for hours to determine if this is a good fit. The most important thing that I can do for these patients is to make them feel like they are not missing out. I don’t want any of my patients to be upset about missing certain foods during the holidays or at birthday parties. Let’s face it, food is a social event. It’s more than just fuel for the body to most. I will research recipes and develop them to get the closet possible experience to the real deal. I think this helps with compliance to set them up for success. My ketogenic patients are all rock stars, too! I just helped plan and execute our first ketogenic diet conference at Mercy Health. I think the West Michigan community is fired up about it right now, which is very exciting for our entire clinic.
You won our National Nutrition Month social media contest with your amazing Instagram pics. What's your fav social media and why is it important for dietitians to be active in media socially and otherwise such as your WZZM segments?
My favorite social media outlet is definitely Instagram. I think a picture truly is worth a thousand words. It’s incredibly important to be real and transparent on social media. I think it helps the public realize that dietitians are regular people with good days and bad days! I like that dietitians are very active on social media and we all do things a little differently, which is fun to see. I like to emphasize shopping local for ingredients and I make a lot of plant based dishes. I think wherever my audience is on social media that they can relate to that. I’ve worked a lot with local news stations (WZZM and Fox 17) to develop healthy recipes and present them on air. I’ve received a lot of good feedback on these segments and it reaches a wide variety of people. It's important to grow a wide audience. I want to relate to anyone and everyone, I think social media and news segments help to achieve this.
What's next Jenn?
I think the future is bright right now. Expect me to stick around in the ketogenic world, but to pull away from other clinical areas. I’m looking forward to switching gears this year and moving more towards culinary nutrition by becoming a personal chef. I will also be completing my Masters in a few months, so teaching is in my future (hint hint). I’ve been watching my little entrepreneur gigs grow over the past few months. I’m excited to see where it takes me this year. I think there's something special about branching out and taking risks. It's absolutely terrifying, but worth it to follow your passions.
Michigan Academy Member Offered Item Writer Position
It is with great pleasure we would like to share that one of our Michigan Academy members, Sonia Govil, MS RD CNSC, was selected as an expert and offered a volunteer position with the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR) as an Exam Writer, popularly known as Item Writers. This position is offered after an extensive selection process involving essay writings, multiple rounds of interviews, etc.
Sonia attended an RD exam-writing workshop in Chicago in early November, drafting future RD exams. Great job, Sonia! We are very proud of you and good luck with future endeavors!
In the News
- Jennifer Fillenworth, RD talks about the huge success the high fat, Atkins-style diet has made in reducing epileptic seizures in her patients by 50 percent. Watch Jennifer
- Kati Mora, RD teaches viewers how to make healthy breakfast eats in this kids hands-on, in the kitchen segment. Watch Kati.
- Amanda Gallaher, MPH, RD, is featured on the Kids Eat Right "Everyday Heroes" page for the month of August...check it out!
- Elizabeth Weber, Registered Dietitian, from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s teaches West Michigan viewers how to dine out on Valentine’s Day without the heart break. Check out her 6 key tips. Dining Out Without the Heart Break
- Bethany Thayer, MS, RDN, Director for the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Henry Ford Health System, educates Detroit Free Press Readers on how to fight lead absorption by eating smaller meals throughout the day. Fight Lead with Nutrition
- If you are a Michigan Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has been featured in the news or on camera, please send the link and your contact information to Director for PR and Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org.