Why Be Involved in Public Policy
- Can your patients/clients afford the healthy food you recommend that they eat? The federal Farm Bill allocates funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help those with limited financial resources purchase food.
- Is your school or hospital kitchen a safe place to eat? State and local food safety policies ensure that you are following safe food handling practices.
- Are your MNT services reimbursable? Federal policy currently allows for Medicare reimbursement for MNT services for diabetes and renal disease, and advocacy efforts are underway to include prediabetes and obesity counseling as well.
Our advocacy efforts are aligned with the national goals of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To help focus and guide our policy efforts, the following priority areas and issues have been identified:
- Disease prevention and treatment
- Lifecycle nutrition
- Healthy food systems and access
- Quality healthcare
How to Get Involved
- Write them an email. This is a quick and easy way to share your opinion. Legislators have staff whose job is to read every email and tally up support for or against issues. Although it may not seem like an email can do much, as few as 4-5 emails can demonstrate a pattern and be enough for an elected official to take notice. At the federal level, the Academy’s Grassroots Manager makes it easy to send your letters, they are even already written for you. When you see an email from MAND or AND asking you to send an email, take action right away!
- Participate in advocacy days. Each year, MAND hosts a Day at the Capitol, which is your day to make your voice heard. Learn everything you need to know to visit with your state representatives, then take action in meetings arranged for you. As an extra bonus, you’ll earn CPEUs for attending! If you’re ready to take your advocacy work on the road, consider attending the Academy’s Public Policy Workshop , held annually in Washington DC.
- Support ANDPAC . The Academy’s Political Action Committee is the only PAC focused on food and nutrition issues. A PAC is a group that collects contributions from it’s members and then uses the pooled funds to support political candidates. ANDPAC funds support candidates from any party that are supportive of nutrition issues. Interested in attending an event for a candidate in your area? ANDPAC funds are available to support your attendance. Contact the MAND Public Policy Coordinator to find out how to request ANDPAC funds.
Public Policy Panel
Laura Perdue, MPH, RD
Public Policy Federal Issues | EMAIL
Serves as federal legislative connection with the Academy’s Policy Initiatives and Advocacy (PIA) team, meets with members of Congress and reports back to PIA, affiliate board and PPP.
Ann Erickson, MAOL, RD
State Policy Representative | EMAIL
State Policy Representative and Licensure Resource. Monitors and manages legislative initiatives impacting nutrition that happen at the state level and serves as a resource for Licensure.
Louanne Kaupa, RDN, LN, CDE
Reimbursement Representative | EMAIL
Facilitates use of the Academy’s coding and coverage resources and coordinates local advocacy efforts to expand federal and state nutrition coverage policies.
Katelyn Engel, MPH, RD
State Regulatory Specialist | EMAIL
Monitors state regulatory initiatives and identifies comment opportunities.
Donna Gjesvold, RDN, LD
Consumer Protection | EMAIL
Debra B Sheats, MPH RD LD FAND
HOD Delegate | EMAIL
Day at the Capitol
MAND Day at the Capitol brings our members to St Paul for a day of advocacy for food, nutrition, and health issues affecting our patients, clients, communities and profession. More information will be coming soon!
MAND’s cornerstone public policy priorities for all Minnesotans are:
- Cost-effective prevention, wellness and disease management
- Healthcare access and reform – better health, better care and lower costs
- Access to safe and healthy food
We are stronger together. Join other Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists, Licensed Dietitians and Nutritionists, Dietetic Technicians Registered, and Students to highlight our public policy priorities with our State Legislators.