From Your Policy and Advocacy Leader

 

 

Dear NEP Colleagues,

It is a pleasure to be serving as your Public Policy and Advocacy Leader (PAL) this year. Public policy is one of the areas in nutrition and dietetics that we all can be a part of and make a difference while shaping the future of health policy in our country. It was amazing to see over 300 food and nutrition experts at the Public Policy Workshop in Washington, DC this June advocating for the health of our nation. Seeing everyone's enthusiasm, energy, and passion for public policy was incredible. I would highly recommend to you attending Public Policy Workshop next year.

Along with other Virginia dietitians, we visited many members of Congress and encouraged legislators to co-sponsor The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (H.R. 2404, S.1509) to allow RDNs, along with other qualified practitioners, to provide Intensive Behavior Therapy (IBT) for patients with obesity (currently Medicare only covers IBT provided by PCPs in the primary care setting) and the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act (H.R. 1686, S.3082) to allow patients with pre-diabetes to receive medical nutrition therapy, in order to reverse or slow down the progression of type 2 diabetes. We also advocated for support of the Senate Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill to strengthen child nutrition programs, while opposing several provisions within the H.R. 5003 bill, Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, that would actually harm children's health. Check out NEP's Twitter account for some pictures.

Throughout the year, I would encourage you to visit AND's Action Center center frequently and contact your legislators regarding important nutrition bills. The Academy makes it easy to send letters to legislators and provides the content of the letters for you. It only takes a couple of minutes to compete action alerts. Every voice counts (literally, as the number of letters sent are counted by AND and legislators' offices). Legislators need to know our opinion about health- and nutrition- related bills, as if we do not communicate it, the decision is going to be made without us. So let's take action today!

Below are some links where you will find additional information about public policy:
http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/advocacy
http://www.nepdpg.org/page/public-policy-2

Please do not hesitate to contact me throughout the year.

Sincerely,
Lisa Shkoda, RDN