Tuesday, March 10, 2020

78 Years of West Virginia Dietitians

When West Virginia Dietitians affiliated in 1942, the United States had entered a world war. The small group of hospital dietitians did their part by teaching Red Cross nutrition courses.

In the 1950s, the project of WVDA (West Virginia Dietetic Association) was to standardize the diabetic diet. Members helped form Camp Kno Koma, West Virginia's free diabetic camp for children.

In the 1960s, the group worked with vocational programs.

And in the 1970s, the scholarship program began. Journal clubs were formed for the purpose of obtaining continuing education. (The picture above is from the journal club at Charleston General Hospital). Many hospitals created traineeships to provide an American Dietetic Association approved route to membership.

In the 1980s, a state practice group for consulting dietitians in long term care was formed with more than 25 members. The first dietetic internship began.

Entering the 21st century, WVDA sponsored two state-wide programs:  "Run Obesity Out of West Virginia" and the childhood obesity essay contest. Dietitians in academia presented their research at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. 

In the decade that began in 2010, medical nutrition therapy reimbursement created many clinical jobs. A distance dietetic internship program, combined with three dietetic internships, provided opportunities for many more dietitians to be.

Dietitians assisted with the Cooperative Extensions' Rethink Your Drink campaign. The Marshall University Nutrition Education Program employed dietitians to go to public schools and teach nutrition, growing, making and eating nutrition foods. Dietitians volunteered in food banks, farmers markets and agricultural programs. 

Dietians continue to work in the Women, Infants and Children program, Child Nutrition Programs and Cooperative Extension.

Roles may be more specialized, yet all dietitians strive to fulfill the original mission of improving the nutritional status of the people in our state.

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