Highlighting Our Incredible VAND Members!


Lesley McPhatter, MS, RDN, CSR

It is a pleasure to “shine the light” on the career of Lesley McPhatter, MS, RDN, CSR. Lesley’s name should be familiar to all of us because she serves as the Virginia State Policy Representative. We are fortunate to have Lesley in this position and as a member of the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (VAND). Below are highlights of Lesley’s career – one based on a commitment to her patients and the profession.

Current position of employment and responsibilities.

Lesley currently lives in Lynchburg where she serves as the Clinical Nutrition Manager for renal nutrition for the University of Virginia (UVA). In this position she oversees 12 dialysis units and 12 dietitians. She is also the home dialysis program manager, which serves approximately 45 patients. Additionally, Lesley provides staff relief when there is a vacancy – which seems to be a never-ending problem in today’s post COVID health care environment.  

Lesley attended James Madison University (JMU) where she took a nutrition course her freshman year and fell in love with it. She also obtained her Master of Science from JMU and during a clinical practicum she discovered renal dietetics, which has been her area of practice for over thirty years. Lesley loves renal dietetics, her job, and the people on her team!

Wise words to dietetic professionals.

Lesley has two words of advice for young (and established) professionals – flexibility and advocacy. Flexibility is key to success in a rapidly changing world. Also, the future of dietetics depends on advocacy for our profession and patients (clients). She stated, “We as a profession need to advocate better for ourselves and our profession. We are the nutrition experts, and we should not shy away from practicing to the full extent of our scope … and be paid fairly and appropriately for the work we do.” Spoken like a great advocate! 

Lesley is very concerned about the future of the profession and specifically the shortage of dietitians. She feels that the need for Chronic Kidney Disease Medical Nutrition Therapy will continue to grow, and we will be unable to meet the future needs if we aren’t focused on growth of our field and increasing the number of RDNS that remain in healthcare. 


Favorite aspects of being a VAND member.

Lesley currently serves as the Virginia State Policy Representative. Her legislative work has enabled her to meet dietitians from all over Virginia. In this capacity, she enjoys serving on the VAND Board. For her the highlights are teamwork, relationship building, and the opportunity to promote the importance of advocacy and public policy to the membership. She feels that all dietitians need to participate in advocating for the profession because “no one else will do it for you”. She encourages members to get involved by volunteering and acting when you receive requests from AND or VAND (such as the action alerts).

Favorite non-working activity.

When Lesley is not working, her interests are running (ultramarathons), dogs, being outside, reading and family. When thinking about retirement, she pictures herself “sitting on the James River surrounded by Goldendoodles and maybe a grandchild or three”.


VAND is indeed lucky to have Lesley as a member. She has a broad understanding of the profession and its future. Lesley is passionate and positive as she works endlessly in the legislative arena to move VAND forward for each of us. 

Lesley, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to share your career path with us and all that you do for the VAND members. You are an inspiration!


Submitted by:

Margaret Tate, RDN, MS