Michigan RD/RDNs in the News
Spotlight on the RD: Aarti Batavia, MS, RDN, CLT, IFMCP
Congratulations Aarti Batavia on having passed the Functional Medicine Nutrition Exam! How do you use this credential? As the Owner and Founder of Nutrition and Wellness Consulting, we suspect you’ve been using this information for years in your practice with clients?
Thank you! I passed the Institute of Functional Medicine Certification Exam in 2014. There are just a handful of RDs that have passed the certification. We need more RDNs with IFM certification. I have been practicing dietetics since 1997, but since I started incorporating functional medicine in 2011, it has transformed the way I see patients. Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
You’re a highly successfully private practice dietitian, with offices in Royal Oak, Novi and Ann Arbor. Please tell us what your average week looks like.
No two days are alike. There are always fun and exciting things going on. I see an array of patients in my practice. Most of them are complex cases who have shuttled between various physicians to manage the symptoms, but no root cause resolution in sight. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired. They include patients with ailments ranging from migraines to those with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, IBD- UC, Crohn's, LADA- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, multiple sclerosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's just to name a few.
One of the main areas that has been ignored by health care practitioners, due to systemic reasons, is nutrition. As a RDN and certified functional medicine practitioner, I help my patients identify their nutritional deficiencies, triggers, which include food allergies, sensitivities, underlying infections, toxins, which include heavy metals, stressors while making corrective changes to their lifestyle, modify nutrient intake, and correct nutritional deficiencies. When possible, I work in conjunction with the patient's physician to manage infections/hormonal balance along with working on modifiable lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress, physical activity and meaningful relationships to restore optimal function. Each patient is unique and therefore his or her treatment needs to be personalized. This is an era of personalized nutrition and medicine. Soon we will have patients bring their genetics results and as RDNs we will be expected to be well versed with nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. Looking for the root cause and identifying the triggers and then working on interventions differs from individual to individual, and, therefore, there is no monotony in what I do. That is what I enjoy the most about my work.
I work four days a week. Time flies when I am with patients. It's like meditation. Each patient is unique, teaches you something about the disease and the individual psyche. It is a humbling experience as the patient allows you to peek into their lives and family with trust and faith that you will help them achieve their health goals and at times their life goals. I also teach Nutrition Care Process at Wayne State University during the winter semester and that helps me share my knowledge and experience.
It is a very gratifying feeling to help individuals achieve optimum health and to share knowledge with the next generation of RDNs. At times, there are invitations to present talks to various groups and I will pick up a few but not all of the invites. One has to maintain work life balance. I am not there yet J
What advice would you give a dietitian who is looking to enter into private practice?
First, identify your area of interest. Find your niche. Do not get into it just because your friend or someone that you admire is in private practice. For a few years gain some experience and confidence.
The initial years of private practice are not so easy. You will have good days and not so good days with patient cancellations and no shows. There is enough work for all of us RDNs in private practice. Compete with no one but yourself. Do not just focus on getting the minimal 75 CEUs to maintain your CDR credentials but grab every opportunity you can towards continuing your education. Give back to your community. Be grateful to your teachers and mentors. I am very grateful to Tonia Reinhard and Mary Width for accepting me at the Wayne State University CPD program as well as the continuous support and encouragement that they provide. I would also like to thank Bethany Thayer for her generosity and accepting me as an intern at 1 Ford Place and later on hiring me at Henry Ford Health System. I am grateful to all my colleagues and friends who have guided, motivated, supported and referred me to their friends, family and patients. You know who you are and I thank you.
Tell us about your work as the founder of the All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AIAARO) a leading organization affiliated to the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AIAARO) was founded under the leadership of my mentor Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar in November 2000 with an aim to promote awareness about obesity in India and publish scientific literature. As a founding member, we worked in recruiting members in the field of obesity including physicians, bariatric surgeons, psychotherapists, physical therapist, dietitians and allied professionals. To promote community awareness, we helped organize obesity camps as well as gave presentations locally as well as at a national level.
AIAARO gave me an avenue to speak at various local and national conferences along with the opportunity to be the convener of one of the Obesity Training Certification Courses for healthcare practitioners and medical students. I have wonderful memories of AIAARO meetings and feel fortunate be working with stalwarts in the field of obesity in India such as Dr. Dhurandhar, Dr. Ramen Goel, Dr. Nitin Patankar, Dr. Rajesh Parikh and many more.
How do you enjoy yourself at the end a long workday?
Actually, most times it feels like the days are short and time just flies! It's fun to get paid for what you enjoy doing the most, isn't it? I enjoy reading PubMed articles and cooking fusion meals after getting back home. I do not like watching TV and so that has been an asset. On weekends, I like going for long walks with my husband, Sameer. During the summer, we enjoy biking and kayaking. I have recently been bitten by a dance bug - so now I am learning an Indian classical dance form called Bharatanatayam. We both enjoy hiking and travel and hope to trek the Everest Base Camp in the near future.
Aarti, many thanks for all you do on behalf of our profession and for the patients, communities and organizations you serve!
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!
Excellence in Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Award Recipients
Congratulations to Kate Geegan, MS, RDN and Lisa Sisson MM, RDN on receiving the Excellence in Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Award.
Kate is at the forefront of a movement to integrate nutrition guidance with agricultural health and sustainable food systems. Called "a global thought leader in her field" by Discovery Health of South Africa, she is the author of Go Green, Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low Carbon Footprint Diet (Rodale). As a speaker and consultant, her work has spanned 3 continents and 7 countries, including leading 2 international food-focused events through her partnership with Field to Plate LLC. Kate is one of a handful of registered dietitians serving on the Council of Directors of the True Health Initiative, an international coalition which includes Dr. Andrew Weil, Alice Waters, Deepak Chopra and other global food and health leaders. In 2013, Kate was named "One of the Top 10 RDs Making a Difference in the US" by Today's Dietitian Magazine.
Lisa is an Assistant Professor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department at Grand Valley State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Grand Valley she taught in the Hospitality Education and Culinary Arts programs at Grand Rapids Community College. Before joining the world of academia Lisa managed her consulting business, LG Sisson Associates, providing nutrition and dietary management consulting services to institutions throughout Michigan. She has extensive experience in nutrition and food service management and has authored numerous research articles, most recently, Local Food Innovation in a World of Wicked Problems: The Pitfalls and the Potential. She is an international speaker on food and nutrition issues and the founder and director of Heartside Gleaning Initiative whose mission is to empower the Heartside community to become healthier through increased access to healthy food and nutrition education.
Michigan Academy Member Receives Medallion Award
Barbara Jacobs Ivens, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND
The Michigan Academy is proud to announce that Barbara Ivens received the Medallion Award during on October 16, 2016 at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Boston.
The prestigious Medallion Awards are presented to registered dietitian nutritionists in recognition of outstanding service and leadership in the Academy and the dietetics profession. Barbara is one of only five Michigan Academy members who have received this award since it’s inception in 1976.
Barbara has held numerous positions within the then Grand Rapids Dietetic Association, the Michigan Academy and the Michigan Academy’s Institute. She has also been involved at the national level, being appointed and elected to such prominent roles as the 2011-2012 Chair of the Academy’s Foundation, 2000-2001 Chair of the Commission on Dietetic Registration, 1994-1996 Area Coordinator of the Dietitians in Business and Communications DPG, 2001-2006 revision chair of the Pediatric Nutrition DPG’s “Pediatric Nutrition Manual” and, since 2011, the Volunteer Coordinator of the Weight Management DPG. In 2015 she served as Chair of, and represented the Academy on, the Joint Food and Nutrition Science Solutions Task Force.
Barbara’s dedication to nutrition and dietetics is not exclusive to serving the Michigan and national Academy’s. Barbara has been a member of the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation Board for 15 years and in that time she has been a visionary leader who has used her innovative thinking to improve care of the smallest and most vulnerable patients in the hospital. It was through her efforts that the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital expanded the neonatal unit and later created The Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center. She also advocated for The Gerber Infant Nutrition and Development Center at the hospital.
Barbara has been serving as President of the Gerber Foundation since 1993 and has been active on their board since 1990. Each year the board reviews and approves 15 to 20 national grants including new researcher grants. Due to Barbara’s involvement all proposals submitted to the Foundation must indicate the inclusion of an RDN when needed.
Barbara J. Ivens is a tireless volunteer and an outstanding advocate for the profession. She’s accepted any challenge and has consistently promoted the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist as a critical partner in improving public health. Barbara exemplifies everything the Medallion Award stands for and the Michigan Academy proudly congratulates Barbara on receiving this well-deserved recognition.
Michigan Academy Member Receives Excellence in Practice Award
Alice Jo Rainville, PhD, RD, CHE, SNS, FAND
Dr. Alice Jo Rainville, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Eastern Michigan University, received the Academy’s 2016 Excellence in Practice Award in the area of research, at the 99th Annual FNCE. This award recognizes an outstanding registered dietitian who demonstrates innovation, creativity, and leadership in research.
Dr. Rainville is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a long-time member of the Academy's SNS DPG, and served as chair of the SNS DPG in 2014-2015. Dr. Rainville has been Instrumental in developing increased efficiency, productivity and effectiveness; Her research is focused on school nutrition programs and much of it is applied research. Since 1994, she has secured over $500,000 in external contracts and grants to fund a variety of research projects. The school nutrition research topics have included nutrients and foods in school lunches compared to lunches from home, effectiveness of classroom breakfast, recess before lunch, nutrition information at the point of selection in high schools, and the afterschool snack program. Additionally, Dr. Rainville has been recognized for teaching, educating and motivating students and professionals; leadership achievements in nutrition-related organizations; several peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and media topics; and several honors and awards for professional achievements.
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.