November Blog Post: DDA Updates in Policy Recap
Our last DDA meeting was a full house at Tri-County Health Department! With the topic of Public Policy fueling our minds, we also fueled our bellies with Wong Way Veg food truck’s veggie-forward offerings. Our guest speakers of the night were Tyson Marden, Colorado Academy of Dietetics (CAND) President and Terri Livermore and Gabriella Warner from LiveWell Colorado, a Denver non-profit that is committed to promoting healthy eating and active living throughout Colorado.
Tyson updated us on CAND’s goals for the 2017-2018 year. It is exciting to see the effort being made to bring Colorado dietitians and dietetic students together and elevate our profession throughout the state. Some of his updates were as follows:
- To provide CEUs every month. This will begin with a GMO movie night in November or December. Tyson also asks if you have any ideas for CEUS to send him an email!
- To provide more networking opportunities throughout the year.
- There is the Pumpkin Pie 5k/10k on November 18th at 8:30. You can register here https://www.coloradorunnerevents.com/Pumpkin/ and make sure to join the CAND team.
- CAND also hopes to hold multiple volunteer days as well as outdoor meetups to hike, run or ski.
- CAND is also launching a “Build The Brand” Campaign in effort to increase awareness of the dietetics profession and how dietitians contribute in all of our many ways. If you are interested in joining the subcommittee, send Tyson an email!
- Legislative Day or Day at the Capitol will be held in February. CAND is excited to announce that Hunger Free Colorado will be a partner in that day to help lobby and make representatives aware of the topics impacting dietitians and the nutrition well-being of Coloradans.
- May 5th is the date for the CAND annual symposium! This year CAND is combining with Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) to host in Keystone! You can learn more about registration here https://www.scandpg.org/symposium2018/
These are some exciting happenings for CAND! If you are not already a member and receiving their emails, head on over to the website http://www.eatrightcolorado.org/ and sign up. To reach Tyson about any of the events listed above or other questions about CAND his email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri started off by providing a fantastic overview of the legislative process at both the state and federal level. While Terri’s overview was much more engaging and poignant you can watch School House Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill on Capitol Hill” if you missed it! https://youtu.be/FFroMQlKiag
Gabriela, LiveWell’s on-staff Registered Dietitian shared the organizations current statewide policy initiatives. They include school lunches, food access and food insecurity and lobbying for programs that support healthy food systems. This includes following the Child Nutrition Re-Authorization Act and Farm Bill to prevent cuts to programs like SNAP and school lunches. You can learn more about specific initiatives at their website: https://livewellcolorado.org/healthy-communities/
Gabriela wrapped up the evening with a call to action. She stressed the importance of registered dietitians becoming more civically engaged and using our expertise to make change with major priority ares:
- Disease prevention and treatment
- Lifecycle nutrition
- Healthy food systems and access
- Quality healthcare
There are many ways to get involved including:
- Joining the Academy’s Political Action Committee http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/advocacy/political-action-committee
- Joining Dietetic Practice Groups (DPG) and Member Interest Groups (MIG) focused on public policy http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/membership/academy-groups/dietetic-practice-groups
- Attending the AND Public Policy Workshop in 2018. (while there is no information on 2018’s you can see a recap of 2017’s workshop here http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/advocacy/action-center/public-policy-workshop
- Running for office or joining the board of organizations you know have an impact on nutrition and healthy food access in your community
- Inviting legislatures to your organization to see what impacts you are making in the community through nutrition.
The meeting wrapped up with a group discussion. The prompt was Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue’s rollbacks on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act regarding requirements for reimbursable school lunches. Breaking off into small groups, it was energizing to hear the different paradigms being shared and DDA members speaking passionately about the issue. This was one of the best turn outs for a policy-related meeting and members gleaned a better understanding of why registered dietitians need to have a presence in local, state and federal policy and be true advocates for healthy eating, active living.