State Public Policy
Lynn Spalding MEd, RDN, CSG, FAND
Public Policy Coordinator
Your Public Policy Panel has been actively supporting the legislative initiative to expand RD/RDN services with the Treat and Reduce Obesity. Panel members met with Congressional staffers in March to urge members to co-sponsor this important legislation. The information provided at these meetings can be viewed here.
In the middle picture from left to right: Susanne Consiglio, Lynn Spalding, Bruce McAttee (Regional Director for Senator Gary Peters), Claire Hammer and Sara Harmon.
If you have been keeping up with the news, you may have heard of proposed changes to many important nutrition programs for Americans, including preventive care, Meals on Wheels, and Child Nutrition programs. It is important that we, as the food and nutrition experts, have a strong voice and advocate for these nutrition programs.
In March of this year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics introduced new mission and vision statements and operating principles. View the Video Summary.
NEW! Vision - A world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition
NEW! Mission - Accelerate improvements in global health and well-being through food and nutrition (Accessed 3/21/17 from http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us/academy-vision-and-mission)
If you are interested in being part of a dynamic group advocating for our profession, we need you! We are currently recruiting for positions on our Public Policy Panel, including some new and expanded roles. Don’t worry if you are new to advocacy, the positions are designed to partner you with an experienced member to learn more about food and nutrition advocacy. We are currently seeking individuals to volunteer for the following positions: Public Policy Coordinator Co-chair, Public Policy Coordinator Co-Chair in training, State Regulatory Specialist in-training, State Policy Representative in-training. If you would like to volunteer or receive more information about these positions, please email Susanne Consiglio at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Day Update
Jevgenija Meyers, RDN
State Policy Representative
On October 11, 2016 ninety-six dedicated members of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics gathered in Lansing for the Legislative Day. The diverse mix of students, interns, and RDNs from all areas of practice made for a successful and collaborative event. The small breakout groups of attendees visited offices of Legislators to share their own unique experiences, build relationships, and listen to concerns.
The enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker Jeanne Blankenship, MS, RDN (Vice President of Policy Initiatives and Advocacy from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) provided us with a very informative presentation on the considerations of Licensure. As the healthcare environment changes, clinical dietitians from reputable hospitals are being replaced by non-RDNs; all the while, the number of people affected by obesity and diabetes continues to spiral out of control. These changes bring up the question of “Would us being licensed make a difference?” Licensure has potential to further recognize us as the evidence-based professional, bring credibility to our profession, bring allegiance, and of course protect Michiganders from harm. If we, as the Michigan Academy, decide to go for Licensure, the road will not be easy and it will be long, but the end result- priceless.
This year’s Legislative Day was focused on building relationships. We must continue to build relationships with our Legislators…why would they vote for us if they don’t know us? I strongly encourage all of you to get to know the Representative and Congressman/woman in your local district. There are many new faces in the office after this election and you can connect in different ways. Consider signing up for their newsletter, attend coffee hours, be present at local events, connect in person at the local and/or Lansing office, or simply send them an email/letter to get the conversation started.
Meet your 2016-2017 Michigan Public Policy Panel:
- Michigan Academy President: Tina Miller
- Michigan Academy President-Elect: Rubina Haque
- Public Policy Coordinator: Lynn Spalding
- State Policy Representative: Jenny Meyers
- State Regulatory Specialist: Sara Harmon
- Reimbursement Representative: Jennifer Farnham
- Consumer Protection Coordinator: Claire Hammer
- Delegate: Kristin Baird