NvAND strived to make a difference in the 2020-2021 year. During this time, we were able to spotlight 13 members who truly make a difference to their clients, co-workers, interns, community, and state.
Here is a recap of the 13 members spotlighted during the last year:
The MNT Act has been reintroduced in both Chambers of Congress!
S. 1536 and H.R. 3108 are the newest iterations of the MNT Act. In this session, members have combined previous acts to make a more comprehensive legislative initiative.
The MNT Act aims to do three things:
Also, consider participating in the Academy Action Alert regarding the MNT Act, as well as several others. You can access the action alerts in the eatrightPRO Action Center.
On the State level, AB73 has been signed by Governor Sisolak! This cleans up our licensure statute (NRS 640E) and also provides an avenue for provisional licensing for newly graduated dietetic interns. Thanks to Kara Freeman, our former State Policy Representative, for her work in getting this accomplished! Please see her piece in the newsletter below for more information.
Have a great June!
Dawn Matusz, MS, NDTR
Public Policy Coordinator
Wendy Corkrum was awarded the Outstanding Dietetic Student Award from NvAND for her academic achievement, dedication to learning, and professional potential. Wendy just graduated from UNR and is excited to start her dietetic internship in August at UNR. Wendy is described as intelligent, passionate, and driven.
Wendy was very active throughout her undergraduate career. She worked at Washoe County School District as a Nutrition Service Worker and Northern Nevada Medical Center as a Dietary Aid. She has volunteered with the Northern Nevada Food Bank, Harvest Nevada which is a local gleaning project, and Tack Provisions which is a campus program that addresses student food security issues and addresses other basic needs such as hygiene and school supply needs. This past year Wendy served as Vice-President to the UNR Student Nutrition Association.
Wendy believes you can make a difference in anyone’s life by listening to them and providing them positive encouraging support. Wendy hopes she was able to make a difference to fellow students by providing them with support and plans to continue doing this as a future RDN. Wendy plans on providing clients with sound scientifically proven advice and provide them with perspectives and tools to help them lead their healthiest lives possible. Wendy hopes she will be able to influence people’s lives at a more individual and personal level.
Wendy shared that her passion to become a RDN has evolved from her own personal struggles with her weight. During her pregnancy and the following months after the birth of her son, Wendy says she gained a significant amount of weight and found it a struggle to keep up with the demands of being a new mother. Wendy decided to focus on her health, modify her diet and the foods she had been consuming and by eventually making changes and incorporating exercise into her life she was able to lose the weight she had gained. Wendy wants to help other individuals who are overweight or struggling to manage chronic conditions by improving their habits which she feels in the long run will help improve their health and quality of life.
The most rewarding experience Wendy said she has is meeting and forming relationships with some truly amazing individuals, from faculty to other community members to students. She has been really impressed with the genuine and professional interactions that she has encountered throughout school. She says she respects these individuals and is really excited she will get to possibly interact with many of them in a career setting in the near future.
Wendy wanted to also share that she has a passion for supporting breastfeeding mothers and she has a desire to provide them and their infants with a successful and enjoyable breastfeeding experience so she does have future plans to become a certified lactation consultant which she will use alongside her RN credential.
In her spare time, Wendy likes to garden, preserving the harvest, and cooking the foods she has grown. Wendy said her hobbies have contributed to her enthusiasm for nutrition and given her additional relevant skills that she will be able to use as a future practicing RD.
Question of the Month: If you could go anywhere to dinner tonight, where would you go?
The French Laundry in Napa. Wendy’s husband is a huge foodie and that is somewhere he has always wanted to eat and I would live to be able to take him there and make his day,
Sally has been a preceptor for the past 14 years and has precepted and mentored almost 65 dietetic interns! Sally was recently awarded the Outstanding Preceptor Award from the Academy. Sally is 1 of only 7 preceptors selected nationwide for this honor. Click here to read more about this award. Sally is described as dedicated, loyal, and pragmatic.
Sally is a clinical nutrition manager at University Medical Center in Las Vegas. She has been contracted in foodservice management for over 39 years, primarily through Compass Group. Sally started working at UMC in 2014 when the dietitians were just beginning to use electronic health records. In Sally words she was sent to UMC to be a “cheerleader” to help guide the RDs into the transition from paper hard charts to electronic health records. She reports she was sent due to her previous experience with technology in a former role. She recounts that the temporary cheerleading job transitioned into a permanent position at UMC. Some previous experience in business and industry include directing food service in businesses industries such as Automaker Plant, schools and colleges, and summer camps.
Before UMC, Sally worked at Eisenhower Medical Center in California which is where she began precepting in 2007. Sally shares she would never have been able to help these many interns without a very dedicated staff of RDs. The team of RDs that Sally leads each spends 1 week with clinical interns to introduce them and explore the specialty that dietitians focus on in his or her daily work.
Sally makes a difference as a dietitian through her professionalism and work ethic. These traits serve as a role model for anyone that has spent time with Sally. Sally makes a difference as a preceptor through her passion for the profession which inspires interns to “strive to make the best better”. She always has time for intern’s questions, concerns, fears, and accomplishments. Sally states she is known for setting the bar high and most interns strive to pass the bar.
The variety is what Sally likes best about being a preceptor. She says that each intern is unique and it is always a new experience with each day, you never know what is going to unfold.
Sally’s advice for RDs who want to precept is that you need to have a lot of energy, time, and patience. She goes on to say that you have to be a great motivator, because you are truly modeling the future of our profession. Preceptors need to build a relationship with each intern so you are able to understand them and bring out their assets and help them build upon things they need to grow on.
Sally advises future and current interns to find a mentor in the profession and be open to their guidance, helpful tips, and perhaps spend some time building a friendship with that person.
In her spare time Sally likes to travel around the world, enjoys fine foods, and during her travels Sally collects beads and stones which she ultimately designs into jewelry.
Question of the Month:
What is an unusual food pairing you love?
Avocado and beets, or hot tamale peeps and TAB soft drink
There are several child nutrition programs which help families, schools, and child care programs provide healthy foods to children. Rather than revisit each one separately, Congress uses a process called Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) to revisit and modify the permanent laws that established many of these programs. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 was the most recent CNR, and certain provisions in that law expired at the end of September 2015.
Some of the programs typically included in CNR laws are permanently authorized and have permanent authorization of appropriations.1 The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) are two examples of such programs. In other words, programs of this type do not expire, even if the CNR law expires. Other programs – WIC, for example – have permanent authorization, yet their authorizations of appropriations expired when the HHFKA expired.1 Funding for these programs has been provided through yearly appropriations acts since the expiration of HHFKA. Still other programs expired and ceased to operate when HHFKA expired.
Especially in light of recent crises like the COVID pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn, CNR is an important step towards improving access to healthy food for all children. Dr. Lee Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently reported to Congress that physicians across the nation have seen an alarming rise in child obesity – including body weight increases between 20% - 90% over the last year.2 Furthermore, Feeding America projects that 1 in 6 children may experience food insecurity in 2021.3 Both child obesity and food insecurity have been exacerbated by the current crises experienced nationwide.
Undoubtedly, Child Nutrition Reauthorization is a crucial endeavor for the 117th Congress. Thankfully, CNR is largely a bipartisan effort, and Congress has already started working towards a new CNR law to be enacted before this session ends in January 2023.
I hope this has increased your understanding of CNR. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. For information on the Academy’s CNR stance and talking points, visit here. Also, there are several active Action Alerts in the Academy’s Action Center.
Dawn Matusz, MS, NDTR
Public Policy Coordinator
Debbie Klein is an RD who has worked at Renown Hospital in Reno for the last 22 years. Debbie has been a member of NvAND for 24 years. Debbie has served multiple positions on the NvAND board which she reflects was a most valuable experience. Debbie served as Public Policy Chair for 6 years, then served as President-Elect/President/Past-President for NvAND. Debbie was nominated for her nurturing nature to new RDs and assisting interns with entry into the field, her obvious love for her complex career in the ICU, and for being a great example of daily passion for her job. She is described as energetic, inspiring, and dedicated.
Working in the Trauma Unit at Renown as a critical care RD inspired Debbie to become specialized in her field and she became certified as a Clinical Nutrition Support RD and has also been a member of ASPEN. Debbie states that she is passionate about what she does and the way in which she does it.
Integrating into a team and bringing new ideas for the good of the team as well as the patients is one way Debbie makes a difference as an RD. Debbie explained that she is very forward thinking and serves as an agent for change and progress. Debbie reflects that she has had the opportunity to gather ideas through attending conferences and leadership conferences while serving the Academy that she was able to bring back and introduce at her hospital to bring forth new ideas and policy change.
The most important skill Debbie feels she has developed as a clinical RD and serving a role in public policy is the confidence that she is a nutrition expert. As a young RD Debbie felt she lacked the confidence to speak up. She explains that when she became Public Policy Chair of NvAND she knew nothing about public policy. This did not stop her from taking the position and going to Washington DC every year. This experience allowed her to build her confidence as a nutrition expert because she was promoting nutrition knowledge to people who did not know about nutrition. This served as a confidence booster for her. She says this also translates to her job in the hospital as she continues to be the nutrition expert for others who do not know about nutrition.
Reflecting on her career Debbie confesses she has had many memorable and rewarding experiences and could not narrow it down to just one. Debbie listed the following: gaining self confidence as a young RD, initiating policy change in the hospital she works, having a conversation with a MD that lead to a hospital policy change, introducing the concept of RD involvement in bedside feeding tube placement and resulting policy change, her experience serving on the NvAND board was a time of growth both personally and professionally as it allowed her to make many life-long friendships that continue today while being active in NvAND, learning during her time as Public Policy Chair, attending leadership classes which produced changes in both her personal and professional life, she is proud to have been involved introducing the idea for dietitian licensure in the state of Nevada while she was serving as President-Elect and working as part of a great team where she learned on mean different levels, and she is glad she came up with the idea to hire NvAND’s first professional website designer and first administrative aid.
Debbie loves to spend time with her family and friends which she has missed over the last year and also likes hike, bike, and travel.
Question of the Month: Sweet, Salty, or Sour?
I love the sweet and salty combination, it makes my taste buds go wild!
On March 12, NvAND will be hosting our annual Legislative Day. Why is it important? First, there is a bill pending that affects our licensure bill. In the Committee on Commerce and Labor hearing, there were a number of questions that were asked by the Legislators that showed an interest in the
bill, but not necessarily support. It is still sitting in Committee before it goes to the full Assembly. We need to be sure that all members of the Assembly and Senate realize the importance of passing this bill.
Second, we are the nutrition professionals. We do our jobs using strong scientific evidence. Many times, bills might come before the legislator that affect some aspect of nutrition. By meeting the legislators and making sure they have an understanding of who we are and what we do and that we use evidence-based information, they know they can call on us for advice. That one-on-one relationship with legislators is important. Can you spare 15-20 minutes on March 12 to meet, virtually, with a legislator? I have 34 appointments scheduled but not enough of our members to meet with those legislators. If you can spare 15-20 minutes, please sign up to attend. We will have a training/kickoff on March 5 so you will know about the bill and what to say.
Thank you to those already registered and I hope to see more of you sign up.
Kara Freeman, DrPH, RD, FAND
State Public Policy Representative
Allison Schnitzer has been a member since 2010. She served on the board from 2017-2019 as the State Policy Representative as part of the Public Policy Team. During that time, she worked on SB95 which successfully allowed for order writing privileges for RDs in hospitals. Alison was nominated for her work as a driving force to get SB95 to pass, is a person who puts herself out there to make a difference, works diligently to produce healthy options in the community, and always provides assistance to any challenge to collaborate on a solution. Allison is described as compassionate, sarcastic, and supportive.
Allison is excited to see the Nevada RD community growing and thinks it is great for the community and state. She completed her undergraduate and dietetic internship at UNLV. Dietetics is a second career path for Allison. Before becoming an RD she obtained her English degree and worked in book publishing for 8 years in New York City.
Allison has worked at the Southern department Health District in the Chronic Disease and Health Promotion Office for the past 5 years as a public health dietitian. Her office receives grants that strive to promote a food environment in which it is easy to make healthy food choices and make access to food more equitable. Allison reports that depending on where a person lives, their income, and ethnic profile, and access to healthy foods can vary widely. Her work aims to increase access to healthy food for all.
Allison makes a difference as an RD because she works closely with the community and tackles big issues happening in the community. Right now, she is working with food pantries which allows her to see what is going on in the community, what they need, and what they struggle with. Allison finds it rewarding to react to whatever is going on in the world at any given moment as a community RD. Allison has her own equivalent of a clinical IDT team, she explains she works with a city planner, RTC, business owners, school administrators, food pantries, etc. She loves going into these spaces to aid in making positive changes.
Due to the pandemic Allison has worked from home most of the past year. Allison explains the pandemic has impacted her job greatly because she works closely with community partners and grants and the priority and focus of many business and community partners has understandable shifted over the past year. Trying to be flexible and refocusing her work as much as possible while still accomplishing the objectives and meeting the partners changing needs has been a challenge since the pandemic started requiring constant shifting and adjusting. She also explains that some grants are planned a year in advance and not knowing what next year is going to look like makes it difficult to estimate the needs.
Allison finds it rewarding to work with children and children’s health. She has gone to elementary schools and worked closely with schools to make positive changes to promote healthier nutrition and physical activity which will impact a large number of students. She enjoys working on various work groups and task forces as a team to set and accomplish goals.
Allison likes being a community dietitian because it allows you to do a variety of things and makes a large impact, not to mention you can really go in any direction with community nutrition. It allows you to work in almost any realm, in any environment, with almost any partner. Allison actively promotes community nutrition as a career path.
In her free time, Allison loves to cook and talk to others about cooking and food. She reports especially during COVID she has spent even more time cooking, looking at recipes, and meal planning. She also enjoys Pilates/yoga, spending time with her family, and watching movies.
Question of the Month: What is your signature dish?
Cashew Cheese. She puts it on everything from quesadillas to homemade potato chips. “Don’t start because you won’t stop!”
Mickey Mazurowski, RDN, LD, LPTA, CLT
Alexandra Lopez, RDN, LD, is a clinical dietitian at St. Rose Hospital. Alex is the current State Media Representative / PR Chair (2019-2021) and has also served as the Fundraising Chair (2019). Alex joined the NvAND Board to connect with other Dietitians.
After graduating, Alex was able to remain in contact with classmates and meet new people in the field by serving on the board. She has gained knowledge on the many resources available from the Academy and learned how much work is needed to run our organization. Alex says connecting with members throughout the state on social media has been her most rewarding experience serving on the board. Alex encourages anyone considering to serve on the board to do it! There is a role for everyone, whether it is more behind the scenes or at the forefront of our organization. The State Media Representative serves a 1 year term and also fills the role of PR Chair.