Michigan RD/RDNs in the News
Michigan Academy Members Receive National Honors at FNCE 2017 in Chicago!
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 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.
Barbara Ivens is the Executive Director, Nutrition and Health Professional Engagement at Conagra Foods, Inc. She has served as the Chair of the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the Fellow Panel Chair, Specialty Panel Chair, and as Chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. She’s been a member of the Academy Recognition Task Force, Honors Committee, and Certification Collaboration Task Force. She served as Chair of, and represented the Academy on, the Joint Food and Nutrition Science Solutions Task Force. Other roles have included Michigan Academy Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, Policies and Procedures and Publications Chair and Chair of the revision of the Pediatric dietetic practice group’s Pediatric Nutrition Manual.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Medallion Awards, given each year since 1976, honors 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.
In recognition of:
- Her transformative ability to move the needle and push the dietetics profession towards excellence. She has used her passion for advocacy to educate countless government officials about the critical importance of nutrition and health, and used her insight to target organizational and policy gaps or opportunities to collaborate with existing Academy units to ensure stability and progress, anchored in documented strategic plans.
- Her outstanding leadership and service to the Academy, serving as a member of National Diabetes Partners, the Evidence Analysis Library Health Disparities work group, the Academy Foundation State Fundraising Task Force, and the liaison to the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). She served as Chair of the Dietetics Practice Based Research Network Oversight Committee, Michigan Affiliate President, State Legislative Network Coordinator, Chair of the Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group, and has been appointed to over 10 National Academy committees.
- Her volunteerism, which has spanned the landscape of health, lending her expertise and influence to multiple organizations, namely the National Diabetes Education Program, American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association.
- Her determination for the success of the practicing dietitian. As an invited speaker and adjunct assistant instructor, she has championed evidence-based medical nutrition therapy education in multiple local and regional forums. She proposed, developed and facilitated the first webinar for NDEP and the first joint NDEP/Academy webinar through the Food and Culinary dietetic practice group. Through her radio and local television interviews, she has shared information to promote nutritional health for youth and adults.
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.
In the News
- Check out Registered Dietitian and personal trainer, Tony Stephan, in his spot on Fox 2: Fall into Fitness
- Navigate Food Trends with Michigan Registered Dietitian, Liz Weber: Navigating Food Trends
- See our very own, Bethany Thayer, Registered Dietitian, whip up some game day guacamole: Reducing your risk for prostate cancer
- Celebrate National Peanut and National Taco day in a healthier way with Michigan Registered Dietitian, Katie Francisco: National Peanut Day, National Taco Day
- 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, email@example.com.
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.