Delegates Corner

YOU HAVE A VOICE!
Your Academy Delegates from Texas are part of the Academy’s House of Delegates and are your voice upward. The House of Delegates (HOD) focuses on critical issues that:

  • Align with and support the strategic plan and impact goals.
  • Have importance across multiple discipline areas.
  • May impact practice areas, or specialized or subsets of practice areas.
  • Have a long, short or immediate impact on our profession.

Leadership from the House of Delegates also works to empower the profession by embracing its values, developing a progressive culture, and working toward a more diverse organization.

The Academy implements strategic planning and changes through policies, actions and composition to embody the vision and voice of its members. The Board of Directors governs the Academy, and Academy staff implement decisions.

Delegates assist in governing the profession and developing policy on major professional issues. This fiscal year, the HOD is focusing on Systems Approach to Nutrition and Health Equity.

“You, our Texas Academy members, spoke and … we listened!”

May 2021 Delegate Update

Hello Texas Academy Members!

Your delegates, Karen Geismar, Andie Gonzalez, Carol Bradley have been busy these past few months with meetings and trainings provided by the Academy. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegates (HOD) held a virtual meeting on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Meeting participants discussed A Culture of Positive Behaviors to Increase Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) as a topic under the Diversity and Inclusion umbrella. The HOD adopted core values of respect, integrity, inclusion and openness and encourages all organizational units to consider adopting or adapting similar ones. 

The delegates and meeting participants discussed microaggression experiences and observations to bring awareness to verbal and non-verbal behaviors that can lead to a hostile and invalidating climate. The HOD encourages all Academy members to self-reflect on behaviors and act against microaggressions. To learn more, here are some resources to get you started: 

HOD Strategies and Tactics for the IDEA Action Plan
During the meeting, delegates brainstormed actions to support and advance the IDEA Action Plan goals that are part of the revitalized Academy Strategic Plan. The following tactics and strategies were submitted to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and will be incorporated into the HOD’s Program of Work

Goal 1: Establish infrastructure and resources to achieve optimal and sustainable IDEA outcomes.
Strategy: Provide resources and tools at all HOD meetings that promote IDEA.
Tactics:  New! Delegates voted that MIGs will now have a representative at HOD meetings! Utilize available resources to make HOD meeting content accessible to all (closed captioning, transcripts, etc.); Conduct culture checks at the end of all meetings. 

Goal 2: Increase recruitment, retention and completion of nutrition and dietetics education and leadership at all levels for underrepresented groups.
Strategy: Attract and recruit a diverse pool of volunteers.
Tactics: Delegates will seek underrepresented groups within the profession as part of their HOD Think Tanks; Delegates will conduct recruiting efforts at all touchpoints (presentations, webinars, newsletters, etc.) with Academy members; HOD subcommittees and task forces will be appointed with an IDEA lens. 

Goal 3: Cultivate organizational and professional values of equity, respect, civility, and anti-discrimination.
Strategy: Build and foster a fully inclusive culture for delegates and all Academy members.
Tactics: Implement HOD core values and guiding principles; Organize a town hall on IDEA topics. 

Goal 4: Advance food and nutrition research, policy, and practice through a holistic IDEA lens.
Strategy: Address HOD Core Functions and all Critical Issues outcomes with an IDEA lens.
Tactics: Increase and refine delegates advocacy efforts; Complete the community program development toolkit.

Please contact us with any questions, comments or ideas. We are your voice.

Karen Geismar, MS, RD, LD, CNSD
chair_of_delegates@eatrighttexas.org 

Andie Gonzalez, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, FAND
academy_delegate1@eatrighttexas.org

Carol Bradley, PhD, RDN, BCBA, LD, FAND
academy_delegate2@eatrighttexas.org 

January 2021 Meeting

As a result of the discussion at the fall meeting, the HOD held a training session related to the just-released brief, “Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and Chronic Disease”. The brief examines these inequities and how they contribute to racial disparities in chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, some cancers and obesity. HOD members discussed how to include the topic of health equity in the annual Plan of Work for Affiliates and DPG.

The Academy advocates for a broad range of policies to target social determinants of health and address these racial and ethnic health disparities, including economic stability, access to healthful food, adequate access to health care and reducing barriers to education.

Delegates also took part in two Action Alerts related to health equity. Action alerts allow members of the Academy to bring the Academy’s policy issues to the attention of members of Congress to help raise awareness and add legitimacy to a priority issue.

Join us by taking action today! The Action Alerts can be found under the advocacy tab on the Academy’s Action Alerts webpage.

The 2021 timeline for the HOD and Texas Delegate Activities is as follows:

  • February 13, 2021, HOD Virtual Meeting

Topic: Customizing Implementation of the DGAs for a more diverse population

  • May 1, 2021, HOD Virtual Meeting

Topic: TBA

We value your input and use it to identify and evaluate options as we present your opinions and ideas at the meetings. So please look for emails from the Texas Academy throughout the year that request your input on issues.

Carol Bradley, PhD, MA, RDN, LD, FAND
Karen Geismar, MS, RD, LD, CNSD
Andie Gonzalez, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, FAND

Fall 2020 Fall Meeting

The HOD Fall Meeting, held virtually, focused on Accelerating Nutrition and Health Equity as part of the Academy’s goal of addressing diversity and inclusion. Speakers highlighted the health disparities Black, Latinx, and Native Americans communities experience, particularly related to COVID-19.  The concept of cultural humility was introduced.  Cultural humility is “a lifelong process of self-reflection and self-critique whereby the individual not only learns about another’s culture, but one starts with an examination of her/his own beliefs and cultural identities” (Tervalon and Murry-Garcia, 1998).

Addressing diversity and inclusion within the profession and as dietetics professionals in our practice is a work-in-progress for the House of Delegates and the Academy.  Delegates discussed potential roles for the HOD, in the critical issue plan, in addressing social determinants of health and health inequities such as advocate, adviser, and execution partner. Ultimately, we were asked to formulate actions the Academy and its members can take to address nutrition and health disparities on an individual level as well as through interpersonal, organizational and community action and public policy.

A recap of the Fall 2020 meeting can be found here.

Meet the three Texas Academy Delegates who represent you in the Academy House of Delegates!

Carol Bradley, PhD

Carol Bradley, PhD

RDN, BCBA, LD, FAND

Karen Geismar

Karen Geismar

MS, RD, LD, CNSD

Andie gonzalez

Andie gonzalez

PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, FAND

For more information on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics House of Delegatesn visit:

https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/governance/house-of-delegates