Darlene Dougherty, MS, RD, FAND is a 50-year member of AND who has had a diverse and involved career and is still actively practicing in dietetics. She is a former AND President, was the dietetic internship at the University of California San Francisco where she enjoyed teaching and training students, has conducted mock Joint Commission surveys across the country where she was able to test if what is taught in school is effective in practice while also assisting facilities in preparing for actual surveys, and has worked in business and industry markets such as Campbells, Kellogg's, EcoLab, General Mills, and Jack in the Box. Darlene was hired for her current position 16 years ago at a critical access facility after she conducted a mock survey. She has now completed 2 complete Joint Commission surveys at that site. Darlene has served on NvANDs Political Action Committee and as Newsletter Editor. Darlene enjoyed her time volunteering and serving on various boards throughout her career and now likes to support other younger members taking on their own leadership positions.
She is described as interesting, engaging, and involved. Darlene was nominated for a member spotlight due to her efforts not only as a former Academy president but also because of her role in helping to create and market Campbells Special Request soup line. Darlene fondly reflects that she worked with 2 other RDs on this project to try and reduce sodium in Campbell's soups so they could market to hospitals and patients. Barriers that had to be overcome during this project were determining if people really believed the soup had less sodium, if there was less sodium, did the lower-sodium version have a flavor that was at all palatable, and would it work in healthcare as well as retail markets. To test and overcome these barriers and questions, Darlene helped set up tasting samples, many in hospitals to allow RDs, MD, and nurses to become familiar with the soups. They also participated in a lot of trade shows. Darlene herself was the West Coast Representative so her role was in leadership and administration where she staffed the sample projects and trade shows and reported back their findings to Campbells. The Special Request soup line remains on the market today. Darlene also helped create Healthy Choice from ConAgra where she did the introduction kick-off for this product into the market. Darlene says she had so much fun working in this setting for a third of her career. Darlene stated that with any retail introduction of products to the market there was always the need to educate the population and media as to what the product was trying to accomplish. Overcoming the dietetic community's opinions about foods, whether it was for a particular product or even in other roles she has had in management, is always a challenge since students and RDs all have their own opinions about foods.
Darlene is getting ready to move out of state, but in her spare time she likes to travel, collect antiques, and bowl.
Darlene says she is a “butterfly lady” because “without change we would not have butterflies and so I enjoy change and the result of that change being butterflies”.
Supporting Nevada Nutrition Professionals