If dietetics is your profession, policy should be your passion.
Updates from the 117th Congress
With the 117th Congress newly in session, the Academy has set priorities to work hard on improving the nation's health as well as advancing the profession through research, education, and advocacy. Public policy and advocacy are core functions of the Academy as they are critical to achieving the mission, vision, goals and strategies outlined in the Academy Strategic Plan. Public policy also significantly influences the public image of the Academy and of the dietetics profession. The Academy supports research and monitoring to develop the evidence base that guides policy decisions. The following public policy areas are identified for the 2021-2023 period:
1. Disease Prevention and Treatment
With a focus on chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, the Academy is advocating for positioning the RDN as the providers uniquely qualified to prevent, treat and manage chronic disease. Additionally, there is a focus on centering the nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered as an integral part of the health care and food service management teams.
The Academy is committed to supporting effective nutrition policies and programs that eliminate health disparities that can be present when differences in health outcomes are impacted by racial, ethnic, geographic, or socioeconomic status with the goal to reduce the disparity margin in all communities.
**Stay tuned for the MNT Action Alert likely to be re-introduced this Spring
2. Lifecycle Nutrition
The Academy is in full support of working to improve health and reduce food insecurity for pregnant women, new mothers and their children, school children and the older Americans aging at home and in long term care facilities.
The focus is on expanding a variety of programs including those that that reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality as well as supporting the expansion of education and support for breast-feeding mothers. The Academy is also in full support of programs ensuring school age children in need have access to healthy food during and after school as well as during the summer. The Academy is in support of the Older American’s Act and advocating for malnutrition screening and treatment through better alignment of Medicare and the Older Americans Act. Supporting and strengthening current programming such as WIC, SNAP-Ed EFNEP, and Team Nutrition are also Academy priorities.
3. Healthy Food Systems and Access
There is a strong focus on advocating for policies that reduce food insecurity across the lifespan as well as ensuring safe food and water supply during emergencies. The Academy also support the Food Systems Supply and Management.
4. Quality Health Care
Recognizing that nutrition services are an essential component of high-quality health care, the Academy is advocating for systems and and funding to provide access to these crucial benefits including supporting informatics that demonstrate return on investment for nutrition services, advancing policies for telehealth to reach larger populations, and protect consumers by ensuring nutrition education is provide by qualified providers.
5. Health Equity
There is recognition for health inequity among racial and ethnic minority groups and supports programs that are addressing these areas as well as addressing the internal inequity by increasing diversity in allied health professions, including dietetics
What Can I Do?
Reach out and connect to build relationships with your members of Congress in the House and Senate.
- Maintain existing relationships or build new relationships with staff and members of Congress
- Get to know members of congress and/or send a congratulations note. Click this link for tips from the Academy's website.
- Keep aware of political developments and policy changes
- Read and watch the news to stay up to date on issues
- Ask questions
This all takes teamwork! Be persistent and be engaged! Know that your support does make a difference! You can help by:
Responding to Action Alerts:
- quick (less than 2 minutes)
- easy (click, letter populates, click send)
- can be personalized with YOUR experience and client stories
- communicate with elected officials (you receive responses & confirmation)
Contributing to ANDPAC online:
Responding to Regulatory Comment requests for feedback posted on the discussion board and in DDPG emails:
The Academy requests feedback from members periodically on issues that are important to our profession. These may be requests regarding regulatory comments or recent requests for feedback on the proposed CMS new payment model. All comments received are sent back to the Academy for review so they can be submitted formally from the Academy. Please take part in reviewing the information/links sent with these requests as your voice matters.
There is power in numbers - but only if members take action. Let's all work together to ensure passage of the important bills from the Academy which benefit all Medicare beneficiaries by ensuring access to MNT by RDN's.