Join Virginia’s Master Food Volunteer Program

Like many Americans, you may be starting off 2018 with resolutions to improve your health and wellness, enhance your relationships, or maybe even advance your career.  Regardless of your specific goals and resolutions, one way to kick off your own personal and professional growth this new year is to consider spending more time serving our community members and sharing your passion for healthy lifestyles.

The Master Food Volunteer Program is a nutrition-related Cooperative Extension group that provides Virginians across the state with up-to-date, evidenced-based knowledge on food preparation, nutrition, food safety, and physical activity.  As Registered Dietitians (RDs), our technical skills and wealth of nutrition knowledge can be of great help to those who have never had formal nutrition education or specific cooking instruction.  Continue reading below to find out how and why you should become a Master Food Volunteer (MFV) this year!


The MFV program is a state-wide program that organizes nutrition-related community service opportunities for volunteers through educational and outreach efforts in the community.  By engaging volunteers throughout various geographical areas of Virginia, this program helps the state’s Extension program to reach more Virginians.  Examples of event opportunities include health fairs, food demonstrations, grocery store displays, in-school and after-school programs, cooking classes, and more can be found on the MFV webpage.

Prior to volunteering, all participants must complete a 30-hour training course.  After the training, volunteers are able to identify opportunities that suit their skills and interests.  Each volunteer is asked to reciprocate with 30-hours of service within one year of their training.


The MFV program continues to expand across the many cities and counties of the state of Virginia.  Once participants complete the training program, they work directly with their supervising Cooperative Extension agent to identify volunteer opportunities within their communities.


There are many current and retired RDs that are involved in the MFV program.  While anyone that has a love for cooking, nutrition, physical activity, or helping others is encouraged to join, RDs come to the program with expert knowledge on nutrition issues and valuable experience working in a variety of settings.

In addition to performing community service, involvement in MFV can provide opportunities for professional growth.  Many MFV volunteers become active in other leadership positions within their communities, such as the local Extension Leadership Councils or other local organizations.  Volunteers also have a chance to improve their public speaking, teaching, and networking skills as they become more active in the program.  In the past, volunteers have even acquired new skills and knowledge to help start their own business or gain new employment.  For example, a recent program volunteer just moved to another state and became a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent.

Whether you are looking to help your community, grow professionally, or both, MFV is a great place to start!


For anyone interested in learning more about the availability of the MFV in your area of Virginia, visit the MFV website and fill out the section titled, “please visit our survey”.  Within the survey, describe your specific interest, skills, and talents that you think you think would be helpful for the program.  The program’s state coordinator, Dr. Melissa Chase, will contact you and refer you to the Cooperative Extension agent in your area of residence so that you can learn more about the training sessions and volunteer opportunities available to you.

For RDs that are interested in volunteering but may not have availability to complete the MFV training, you are still encouraged to contact Dr. Melissa Chase at to inquire about nutrition-related volunteer events or specific training/educational opportunities that my not necessarily require training as a MFV.  The program highly welcomes opportunities to collaborate with RDs.



Ali Webster is a current dietetic intern in the Virginia Tech Internship in Nutrition and Dietetics.  She previously completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University.  In her free time, she loves exploring parks and neighborhoods around the DC Metro Area and trying to master new food recipes! 

Reduce Your Waste: Join The Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign

With fall right around the corner, that means it’s just about time to welcome back fall favorites like fresh apples, pears, and pumpkins to the dinner menu.  It’s likely that you will probably come across an apple or two that may look a little less perfectly shaped or ‘uglier’ than the rest.  Consider for a moment if you would skip over the ugly fruit, or, if you would place the ugly fruit into your shopping basket.

It is commonplace for today’s shoppers to pass over misshapen or oddly sized produce selections in search of more cosmetically appealing choices.  In fact, many grocers even pre-screen the produce bins in an effort to remove cosmetically imperfect pieces before shoppers have a chance to see them.

The process of removing unattractive or unsafe produce from the market is called culling.

Culling is performed by produce distributors to remove produce that may be unsafe to consume due to mold or rotting.  However, the process has evolved to also include removing produce that is completely food safe but looks somewhat unattractive.  Produce with minor bruises, shrivels, off-color, or distorted size and shape are still safe to consume.

With today’s culling practices and consumer food waste habits, it is no surprise that produce is among the top wasted food group.  Almost half of all fruits and vegetables produced are wasted, with nearly 20-30% of the losses attributed to retailer and consumer practices such as culling.

While wasted produce continues to serve as a major environmental issue, the good news is that progress has been made to combat the wasteful process of tossing ugly produce!  In 2014, the Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign embarked on a journey to bring awareness to the billions of pounds of produce wasted annually due to strict cosmetic standards.

The Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign highlights the ‘uglies’ and ‘misfits’ of the produce world through their campaign on Twitter, Instagram, We Heart It, and Facebook.  The organization partners with grocers and retailers across the globe to provide shoppers with access to discount selections of cosmetically imperfect produce.  The overarching mission is to reduce annual food waste by selling ugly fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded into land fills.

There is no better time than the present to get started on reducing how much food you waste each week.  Join the Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign this fall and play your part in reducing annual produce waste!

Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign Partners Near You:

  • Check out the partnership directory to find an Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign store partner near you.  A number of retailers currently making the list include Giant, Safeway, and Walmart.
  • Have fresh, discounted produce (including the ‘uglies’) delivered right to your door by Hungry Harvest.  The company rescues produce that would otherwise be thrown away for cosmetic and surplus reasons and allows you to mix and match a personal batch of fruits and veggies at a low price.  Check out the delivery schedule to find out when produce is delivered in various neighborhoods of Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland!


Ali Webster is a current dietetic intern in the Virginia Tech Internship in Nutrition and Dietetics.  She previously completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University.  In her free time, she loves exploring parks and neighborhoods around the DC Metro Area and trying to master new food recipes!

Reduce Your Waste: Why it Matters

The United States is fortunate to enjoy one of the richest and most plentiful food supplies across the globe.  Each year, however, our abundant food supply contributes to an ever-growing pile of wasted food.

Food waste can be defined as the loss of an edible amount of post-harvested food that is safe and available for human consumption but is not consumed for any particular reason.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that Americans dispose of nearly 35 million tons of food waste each year- that is the equal to about 5 pounds of food waste, per person, each and every week!

Pressing issues regarding food waste:

  • Food dumped into landfills eventually decomposes and produces large quantities of methane gas.  These methane gas emissions are a major and devastating contributor to global climate change.
  • Wasting part of the food supply also means wasting a portion of our natural resources.  Food waste creates a serious deficit in resources such as water and land.
  • Food waste also creates a huge financial burden.  The USDA revealed that food waste costs the U.S. nearly $162 billion annually.
  • Nearly 13% of households in the U.S. have trouble providing enough food for their families.  The millions of tons of annually wasted food could be going to families in need of food assistance.

Many people wonder where exactly along the supply chain food waste occurs.  In developed countries like the U.S., nearly one third of food is wasted in the hands of retailers and consumers.  That means that as consumers, we can play a leading part in reducing annual food waste!

There are lots of ways that you can educate yourself and your clients to decrease personal food waste through planning, storage, and preparation.  Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s tips for reducing wasted food at home!


Ali Webster is a current dietetic intern in the Virginia Tech Internship in Nutrition and Dietetics.  She previously completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University.  In her free time, she loves exploring parks and neighborhoods around the DC Metro Area and trying to master new food recipes!

CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program – Questions and Answers #4

Q. There’s a lot of talk about obesity and Type 2 diabetes and it seems a lot of the program is about managing weight.  What does the program have available (lifestyle-wise) for those T2D patients who have lost weight since diagnosis and/or who are not overweight?

A. The National DPP and the MDPP benefit are for individuals with prediabetes/high risk for type 2 diabetes and are overweight.  It is not for people who already have diabetes.  Medicare Part B beneficiaries with diabetes have access to the following nutrition benefits:

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT): Medicare Part B beneficiaries have a benefit for 3 hours of MNT during the first 12 months of diagnosis and 2 hours of MNT in each year following the diagnosis of diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or post kidney transplant.  Beneficiaries can have additional hours of MNT as long as the RDN obtains a new referral during each year of treatment.  For more information visit
  • Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT): DSMT includes education for eating healthy, being active, monitoring blood sugar, taking drugs, and reducing risks.  Medicare may cover up to 10 hours of initial DSMT.  This training may include 1 hour of individual training and 9 hours of group training in the first year, and 2 hours of follow-up training in subsequent years.

Q. This program – short of the curriculum – seems similar to an IBT for Obesity program.  Any idea whether there might be an overlap in terms of payers and which program might be more profitable for the health care provider or RDN?

A. Medicare’s Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT) for Obesity benefit and the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program benefit are considered distinct benefits.  They each have different eligibility criteria and coverage parameters, and requirements for CMS payment.  IBT for Obesity refers to a specific Medicare Part B benefit for beneficiaries with a BMI ≥ 30 that can be delivered in primary care settings.  Other payers (non-Medicare) may cover diabetes prevention programs as well as also offer benefits related to obesity treatment (e.g., MNT or programs).  Each payer sets its own eligibility requirements and payment policies.  RDNs and other health care providers need to evaluate the costs and benefits of providing services based on their organization/practice’s mission, business model, costs, amount of reimbursement, other sources of revenue, and target market, etc.

To learn more about the Medicare IBT benefit and providing obesity services to other populations, check out the Academy’s toolkit, Intensive Behavioral Therapy for Obesity: Putting it into Practice that is free for members:

Q. In order to be a Medicare recognized program would the initial 16 sessions in the first 6 months need to be carried out consecutively?  I currently run our DPP in my workplace. However, participants have slowly trickled in and are not all attending the same sessions, and we have conducted 16 individual sessions; would this

A. In order to become a Medicare recognized program, the program must achieve full CDC recognition and enroll as a Medicare Supplier.  The core MDPP benefit is for 12 consecutive months and must consist of at least 16 weekly core sessions over months 1-6, and at least 6 monthly core maintenance sessions over months 6-12.  CMS will address payment for MDPP services in future rule-making.

Q. Can the program be reimbursed at a hospital outpatient office or does it require reimbursement at a doctor’s office outpatient?

A. Yes.  The hospital based program would need to enroll as a Medicare Supplier of the NDPP.

Q. I was trained as a life coach for the original CDC DPP in 2013.  I have since left the job.  Do I need to get new certification for the program or will the original 2 day training be transferable?

A. Certification as a lifestyle coach does not expire, however, organizations that are providers of NDPPs may set policies and/or requirements regarding current training.

Q. Is the EPIC EHR flow sheet shown in the presentation available to all EPIC users or does the flow sheet need to be purchased separately?

A. The flowsheets are a custom build and are not an EPIC product.

Q. To run an effective NDPP, can you elaborate more clearly on the mandatory resources to run a CDC-recognized program?

A. The mandatory resources needed to run an NDPP CDC recognized program are an approved CDC curriculum, trained lifestyle coaches, and eligible participants to form a group-based program.


About the Author: Joyce Green Pastors, MS, RD, CDE, VAND Member and one of the Virginia Diabetes Council Board Members, participated in a webinar on May 24th, 2017 for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about diabetes prevention.  We thank them for sharing information from this webinar with us.

CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program – Questions and Answers #3

Q. Will Medicare pay for the program participants that are in the pending recognition status?

A. Pending recognition status is the initial application process for CDC diabetes prevention program recognition (DPRP) for the NDPP.  A program with pending recognition is not eligible for Medicare payments.  Medicare will be requiring organizations to have Full CDC Diabetes Prevention Program Recognition to enroll as Medicare Suppliers.  CMS is considering another category of recognition which would be addressed in future rule-making.

Q. It was mentioned that NDPP will only be reimbursed from Medicare for face-to-face groups initially.  Would a live, telephone group be considered face-to-face?

A. No, telephonic delivery is not considered face-to-face.  CMS will not pay for non-face-to-face delivery of the program in 2018.  Future rule-making will address virtual delivery and payment.

Q. How different is the CDC approved DPP from the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Self-Management and Education Program?

A. The National DPP and Diabetes Self-Management and Education (DSME) program are different programs altogether.  The National DPP is intended to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in populations with prediabetes.  DSME programs provide standardized education and training for populations already living with
diabetes.  DSME programs are recognized by the American Diabetes Association or accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.  Programs that deliver the National DPP are recognized/accredited by the CDC.  DSME programs that also wish to deliver the National DPP must go through the process to become CDC-Recognized (full) and enroll as a Medicare Supplier to deliver the National DPP to Medicare beneficiaries with prediabetes.

Q. Does one need to be a certified diabetes educator (CDE) to be a DPP Lifestyle Coach?

A. One does not have to be a CDE, health care provider, or have certain credentials to become a DPP Lifestyle Coach.  Please see slide 26 for eligibility and skills.

Q. Is the NDPP/MDPP a voluntary program that RDNs engage in?  Is there a financial incentive, billing etc.?

A. The National DPP is the overarching program/framework for implementation of the lifestyle change intervention for those with prediabetes/high risk for type 2 diabetes.  The MDPP refers to the new Part B benefit for the National DPP lifestyle change intervention for Medicare beneficiaries.  The National DPP and MDPP are linked and are not really two separate programs.  Organizations must become part of the National DPP since they must attain full recognition by the CDC to deliver the MDPP benefit to enroll as a Medicare Supplier and be paid by Medicare.  CDC Recognition for DPP programs is voluntary, but is increasingly being used by payers as a requirement for
reimbursement/payment as it is with the MDPP benefit.

Programs with CDC recognition have the ability to offer the National DPP to consumers with private insurance who have benefits and coverage for diabetes prevention programs, and/or to provide the program for a fee in instances where consumers do not have an insurance benefit for diabetes prevention programs.  Not all payers require full recognition to begin offering the program.  Some payers may provide consumer coverage and pay for programs with pending status, but are likely to expect the program to achieve and maintain full recognition.  Depending on the setting, there can be numerous benefits from offering the National DPP, not to mention the benefits of providing a program demonstrated to prevent the onset of disease.  Benefits of offering the National DPP and of becoming a Medicare Supplier of the MDPP were highlighted in Marcy Kyle’s presentation of the webinar.  We recommend that you listen to the recorded webinar provided.


About the Author: Joyce Green Pastors, MS, RD, CDE, VAND Member and one of the Virginia Diabetes Council Board Members, participated in a webinar on May 24th, 2017 for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about diabetes prevention.  We thank them for sharing information from this webinar with us.

CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program – Questions and Answers #2

Q. Is it possible for someone in private practice to offer the MDPP as a solo practitioner?

A. Solo practitioners would need to start a National DPP and obtain full CDC Recognition to apply to enroll as a Medicare Supplier for the MDPP.  Individuals in private practice can also partner with existing or new programs to provide the lifestyle coaching or serve as a program coordinator as independent contractors.  The program would need to obtain the solo practitioner’s NPI for the coach roster.  Medicare pays the recognized Medicare Supplier, and the program would pay the practitioner providing services for lifestyle coaching.

Q. If someone is <65 and has prediabetes but is not overweight, is he/she eligible for the program (i.e., the MDPP benefit)?

A. No. Medicare beneficiaries with a body mass index (BMI) of < 25 are not eligible to participate in the Medicare DPP benefit.  The Medicare criteria for the Part B benefit is a BMI of ≥ 25 and abnormal blood glucose results.  The Medicare DPP is an important new benefit to help Medicare beneficiaries prevent and/or delay diagnoses of diabetes, yet it does not meet the needs of all populations with prediabetes.

A note about individuals with Medicare Advantage plans or other individuals < 65 with private insurance: It is possible that individuals with private insurance, including Medicare Advantage plans, who have prediabetes and BMI < 25, have a benefit for MNT that may cover a diagnosis of prediabetes. Individual plan benefits and coverage policies determine what services are covered benefits and terms/conditions for coverage. We encourage RDNs and organizations to confirm benefits for MNT in persons with prediabetes.

Q. How do you become a Master Trainer?

A. As of the date of the webinar, there are three organizations (Diabetes Training and Technical Assistance Center at Emory University, American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Diabetes Prevention Support Center of the University of Pittsburgh) that currently provide Master Training.  The minimum required qualifications for application to a Master Trainer Program are:

  • Previous completion of Lifestyle Coach Training from a CDC-recognized national provider
  • Affiliation with an organization that has pending or full CDC recognition
  • Successful delivery and experience with the National Diabetes Prevention Program

Some of the organizations also require the applicant to be a health care professional with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field or if not, substantive experience.  There is an application form to be completed, letters of recommendation from a supervisor or a professional who can provide information about your experience and performance in delivery of a lifestyle change program, and often a phone interview.  Successful applicants attend a 2-day training, similar to the Lifestyle Coach Training Program, to become qualified to become a Master Trainer.  The fees range from $1500-$1650 which includes the training and the membership/agreement fee for post-training technical assistance and licensing of the training materials.  Master Trainers can train lifestyle coaches in their own and partner organizations.

Q. Can RDNs in private practice order blood tests for diabetes screening?

A. The Academy recommends that RDNs refer to the Comprehensive Scope of Practice Resource for the RDN which can guide the RDN to the resources and options that can be used to evaluate whether the RDN can safely and effectively provide an expanded practice skill and advance individual practice.  Case Study: Initiating Orders for Nutrition-Related Laboratory Tests for RDNs Practicing in Hospital, Ambulatory and Private Practice Settings Academy Store:

Quality Management Webpage:

Quality Management Short Link:  Scroll down to Case Studies on the Scope Webpage.

Q. How long will Medicare pay for maintenance sessions?

A. Beneficiaries will have access to ongoing maintenance sessions after the MDPP core benefit (1st 12 months of the program).  At the time of the webinar CMS had not placed any limits on how long CMS will pay for ongoing maintenance sessions.  Eligible beneficiaries will have access to ongoing maintenance sessions after the MDPP core benefit if they achieve and maintain the required minimum weight loss of 5%.  CMS is defining maintenance of weight loss, which allows a beneficiary to access ongoing maintenance sessions, as achieving the required minimum weight loss from baseline weight at any point during the previous 3 months of the core maintenance or the ongoing maintenance sessions.  CMS will propose a limit on the duration of CMS payments for ongoing maintenance sessions in future rulemaking.  As a reminder, there are six monthly core maintenance sessions in months 6 through 12 of the year-long program in which beneficiaries are eligible to participate, regardless of weight loss, but CMS has not issued final rules about payment for the core maintenance component or any component of the MDPP benefit.


About the Author: Joyce Green Pastors, MS, RD, CDE, VAND Member and one of the Virginia Diabetes Council Board Members, participated in a webinar on May 24th, 2017 for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about diabetes prevention.  We thank them for sharing information from this webinar with us.

CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program Questions and Answers

Do you have questions regarding the National Diabetes Prevention Program?  Over the next few weeks we will feature posts that address questions about the program.

First let’s begin by defining the terms.

Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) was the research trial led by the National Institutes of Health with financial and scientific expertise from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others.

National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is the overarching program/framework for implementation of the lifestyle change intervention for those with prediabetes/high risk for type 2 diabetes.

The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) refers to the new Medicare Part B benefit for the National DPP lifestyle change intervention for eligible Medicare beneficiaries.

Q. What is the difference between the National Diabetes Prevention Program and the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program?

A. The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is the overarching program/framework for implementation of the lifestyle change intervention for those with prediabetes/high risk for type 2 diabetes.  The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) refers to the new Medicare Part B benefit offering coverage for the National DPP lifestyle change intervention for eligible Medicare beneficiaries.  Programs must have recognition by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deliver the MDPP benefit.

Q. Is it mandatory for lifestyle groups to be certified for program accreditation and Medicare reimbursement?

A. Medicare will require NDPP programs to have full CDC recognition (administered by the CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program, part of the National DPP) to be eligible to enroll in Medicare as Medicare Suppliers.  CMS may consider another category of recognition that would be addressed in future rulemaking.

Q. Can an RDN apply for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number even if not planning to use it quite yet?  Does
it require renewal?

A. A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) can apply for an NPI at any point in time, whether for current or future use.  The Academy recommends that every RDN have an NPI regardless of employment status or place of work, or whether the NPI is being used by the RDN or an organization for billing purposes.  NPIs are one way to demonstrate RDN workforce availability to payers including Medicare, private payers, and state Medicaid agencies.  An NPI does not require renewal and it never expires.  Nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered (NDTRs) and other nutrition and dietetics practitioners can also obtain NPIs at any time.  There is a specific NPI taxonomy category for “dietetic technician, registered.”  Nutrition and dietetics practitioners who are not RDNs or NDTRs can select “Health Educator” for the taxonomy.

For more information on how to obtain an NPI, visit

Q. I’m unclear as to whether each health coach needs an individual NPI or if the program can use the hospital NPI?

A. Each Lifestyle coach who delivers the NDPP to Medicare beneficiaries under the new Medicare benefit (MDPP) will need an individual NPI.  Programs that apply to enroll as Medicare Suppliers of the MDPP are required to submit and maintain a coach roster with NPI numbers for all coaches.  Individual coach NPIs will not be used forbilling purposes in the MDPP.  The Medicare Supplier (must be a program) will use the program NPI to submit claims to CMS.

Q. When do you apply for the MDPP NPI number?

A. Organizations who want to deliver the MDPP benefit will need to provide a list of coaches and their NPIs when they apply to enroll as a Medicare Supplier. Organizations can apply for Medicare Supplier enrollment if the NDPP program has already obtained full CDC Recognition.

About the Author: Joyce Green Pastors, MS, RD, CDE, VAND Member and one of the Virginia Diabetes Council Board Members, participated in a webinar on May 24th, 2017 for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics about diabetes prevention.  We thank them for sharing information from this webinar with us.

Obesity Advocacy Day 2017

On Monday, February 27, 20107 the Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) and dietitians from across the United States met in Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress to advocate for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) of 2017 and the establishment of a National Obesity Care Week (NOCW).  Obesity Advocacy Day attendees were divided into groups and traveled to various legislative offices to meet with Congress men and women to discuss and advocate for the TROA.  The TROA consists of two parts which aim to:

  • Enhance Medicare beneficiaries’ access to additional qualified healthcare professionals that are best suited to provide Intensive Behavioral Therapy (IBT)
  • Allow Medicare Part D to cover FDA-approved obesity drugs

Currently, CMS coverage for IBT is limited to being provided by a primary care provider in the primary care setting.  Because of this narrow coverage, nutrition professionals, endocrinologists, bariatric physicians, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and other specialists are unable to be reimbursed for providing these services.  When Congress enacted Medicare Part D, (the Medicare prescription drug program), obesity was not recognized as a disease, but rather a lifestyle condition.  Additionally, there were no widely-accepted FDA-approved weight loss medications on the market.  It was for these reasons that pharmaceutical weight loss aids were not covered under Medicare Part D.  Due to Medicare’s current limitation on providers of IBT and Medicare Part D’s lack of coverage on pharmaceutical weight loss aids, the TROA aims to change these aspects of Medicare coverage.  Lastly, the establishment of a NOCW aims to elevate societal awareness of obesity and weight bias as well as facilitate a shift to science-based treatment for those living with obesity.  The act proclaims the week of October 29-November 4 as National Obesity Care Week.


About the author: Katie Couch

Katie is currently a dietetic intern at the University of Virginia Health System. She completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Science and Master’s degree in Nutrition Science from Auburn University.  She enjoys cooking, reading, and exploring her new city of Charlottesville!







Announcing VAND’s New Executive Director

Over the past six weeks, VAND’s Executive Director Search Committee comprising Carlene Thomas (Chair) Lesley McPhatter, Kimberly Lunsford and me, has been recruiting for a new Executive Director. We are pleased to let you know that Jillian Davis, RDN, has accepted the position!

Jillian Davis, RDNJillian is very excited to serve the VAND community of nutrition professionals as the new Executive Director!  She has enjoyed past experiences in many different areas of nutrition including the clinical setting, food marketing and promotion, and community education.  She has worked as a School Marketing Manager with the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, supporting nutrition education programs throughout northern Virginia, and most recently served as Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent in Charlottesville and surrounding counties, as well as in Fairfax County.  Her experience with individuals, families, and nutrition professionals throughout the state has provided her with a unique view of the diverse communities we serve in Virginia.  In addition to her work as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Jillian enjoys walking, jogging, knitting, reading, gardening, and experiencing the fullness of life with her family.

She will begin learning the ropes over the next few weeks by working with Jackie Darling, Interim Executive Director; Shirley Scrafford, Cvent Coordinator;  Kristen Chang, Website Coordinator; Cindy MacIntyre, Treasurer, and the rest of the Executive Board.

Please plan on attending the Annual Meeting so you can meet Jillian in person!


Nicole V Brown, MS, RDN, LD ACSM EP-C, VAND President


Nicole V. Brown, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM EP-C
President, VAND

VAND March President’s Message

Savor the Flavor. . .

March is National Nutrition Month!

We made an Impact at Legislative Day on February 24th!

Almost 100 RDNs, DTRs, interns and students spent a rewarding day in Richmond visiting our legislators. We split into two groups so when we were introduced (the famous “shout out) to the Assembly and the Senate, 50 of us stood in unison in each gallery to represent Virginia’s nutrition experts who promote the health of Virginians! This record-level attendance required leadership and coordination and for that we thank Angie Hasemann, State Policy Rep; Faye Krause and Alex Wahlberg Assistant SPRs, Christine Gries, State Regulatory Specialist, our five District Legislative Representatives, Blue Ridge (Sara Mastrantonio), Northern (Jackie Darling), Richmond (Nana Ofosu-Benefu), Southwest (Susan Noble) and Tidewater (Amber Rivera) Andrew Lamar, Legislative Consultant, and Amy Scott-MacLean. Attendees were surprised to actually meet with legislators who had time to talk about legislation VAND was supporting.

VAND Legislative Day 2016

Read more about Legislative Day in the NEWSLETTER posted on the website and check back for even more information that will provide a more in depth discussion about VAND’s MOST SUCCESSFUL LEGISLATIVE DAY to date and lots of photos! Please plan on attending next year’s Legislative Day!

Blogging… Another Way to Make an Impact!

By now you all know that we have launched a very successful blog on our website!   What you might not know is why we started this blog and why we want YOU to contribute to it.  Blogging increases our online presence and helps us establish authority as the nutrition experts in the Commonwealth, provide educational opportunities for other RDNs, healthcare professionals, and the public, and promote the professional brand of VAND.  It helps public policy and advocacy professionals, like our state legislators and their aides, learn who we are and what we do.  Publishing on our blog can also help YOU build your professional brand and online presence.  With National Nutrition Month this month, we would love to flood the blog with pictures of NNM activities throughout Virginia, and educational posts and healthy recipes to help Virginians “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”!  Submit your materials to our Professional Education Chairpersons at – we can even help edit your post if you would like us to!

Thank you in advance for your submissions!

~ Wendy Phillips and Kristen Chang

Go to and click on “Blog” to view recent submissions:

Facts about coconut oil, VAND election candidate profiles, Nutrition Myth Busters, Order Writing Privileges. . . .

Virginia Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics 87th Annual Meeting
April 10-12, 2016 – 
Fairfax, VAlogoAM2016

Have you seen the speaker line up? Have you seen the workshop topics? This is a meeting not to be missed! Margo Wootan, D. Sc. Center for Science in the Public Interest (restaurant nutrition labeling); Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN (FODMAPS), Scott Kahan, MD, MPH (What RDNs need to know about medications for weight reduction), Alanna Moshfegh, MS, RD (Chew on This Changes in Americans’ Eating Habits) to name a few!


Up to 23 CPEUs are being offered over three days.  VAND’s 87th Annual Meeting will host many nationally renowned speakers and local experts presenting hot topics in food and nutrition to advance practice in all areas.  Log onto VAND’s website at and click on the Annual Meeting announcement to check out the meeting site.  Here you can view the program agenda, meet the speakers, access hotel information and register online with a credit card.

Early bird registration fees are available NOW through March 18th

Fairfax Marriott at Fair Oaks, 

11787 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway,

Fairfax, VA  22033

Academy Elections

The final numbers are in and 14.48% of VAND’s membership voted in the Academy elections coming in 3rd place in Category 3 behind Georgia’s 26.15% (Donna Martin from GA was selected as AND’s President-Elect so they had lots of GOTV energy) and Alabama’s 16.09%. In 2015, VAND had 9.1% of its members vote so a 37% increase in participation is great improvement.

Upcoming Events
  • March VAND Elections—will be announcedMarch Webinarwill be announced soon, stay tuned!
  • March 2016 National Nutrition Month: “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” has lots of resources for RDNs and NDTRs to use.
  • April 10-12: Annual Meeting:, Fair Oaks Marriott, Fairfax, VA
  • April 10: Board Meeting 5:30 pm
  • July 8-9: Board Retreat – Roslyn Center – Richmond, VA
As always, I am interested in your insights, your questions, and requests.

Nicole V Brown, MS, RDN, LD ACSM EP-C, VAND President

Nicole V Brown, MS, RDN, LD ACSM EP-C
703.969.6114 | Springfield, VA