Noteworthy Practices

ACEND® has begun to identify Noteworthy Nutrition and Dietetics Education Practices among ACEND®-accredited programs and would like to highlight one or more program(s) per quarter for their noteworthy practices on the ACEND® website and in the ACEND® UPdate Newsletter. ACEND® will post due dates for practice submissions via email blasts and newsletter articles.

  • Noteworthy practices in the following topic areas are requested.
  • Preceptor Recruitment and Recognition
  • Interprofessional Education
  • Curriculum i.e. simulation, review process, integrated experience
  • Program Improvement i.e. data collection, technology, pass rate

Program directors or other individuals associated with an ACEND®-accredited program are asked to complete the submission form and an abstract of their noteworthy practice and email it to ACEND® for review. Submissions will be reviewed by an ACEND® Board review team and selected entries will be posted.

Download a submission form.

Email completed submission forms and supporting documentation to [email protected] with the subject line: Noteworthy Practice Submission.

2017 Noteworthy Practice Honorees

Noteworthy Practice Category: Curriculum

Concordia College, Dietetic Internship
Meredith Wagner, PhD, RD, LRD

Concordia College, Dietetic InternshipAmerica is experiencing a food waste crisis, with an estimated 30-40 percent of the food supply, approximately 35 million tons annually, never eaten. Wholesome food that could have helped feed the over 48 million Americans living in food insecure households, is going to landfills where it breaks down to produce methane, contributing to greenhouse gas, resulting in climate change. Given the magnitude of the food waste problem in the U.S., national efforts have been implemented.

In fall 2015, the first-ever national food loss and waste goal was announced by the EPA and USDA: a 50 percent reduction in food loss and waste in the U.S. by 2030. In response to the food waste crisis, and modeling after the national goal, Concordia College committed to reducing plate waste in their dining service by 50 percent by 2020. To track progress towards the goal, Concordia College Dietetic Interns are conducting front-of-the-house plate waste studies in Concordia's dining service using a standardized methodology the Dietetic Interns developed.

The standardized methodology will be used to conduct a plate waste study once per semester until fall of 2020. The two-day baseline study, conducted in October 2016, revealed 658 pounds of wasted food. Following programming led by Dietetic Interns to increase awareness of plate waste on campus, another study was conducted in March 2017, which revealed a two-day total plate waste of 485 pounds.

The change in plate waste from October 2016 to March 2017 represents a 26 percent reduction. Additional programming by Dietetic Interns will hopefully result in continued reduction in plate waste in the dining service.

Noteworthy Practice Category: Interprofessional Education

New York University, Dietetic Internship
Lisa Sasson, MS, RD, CDN and Erin Embry, MPA, MS/CCC-SLP

NYU Dietetics Internship - Noteworthy PracticeThe focus of this course is treating patients with complex medical conditions with varying degrees of dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) and creating a patient-centered, collaborative learning environment. Ten graduate students from NYU's Clinical Nutrition program and ten graduate students from the Speech-Language Disorders program participate. The goal of this course is to recognize the importance of delicious, appealing and healthy foods, regardless of one’s medical condition.

The course also includes simulated real-world opportunities that enhance learning. At NYU Langone Medical Center, residents from Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine participate by leading our students in case-specific mock team rounds. The culminating experience includes a "Quick Fire" mocktail and "Iron Chef" dysphagia cooking competition, in which student groups select and prepare a beverage and a meal specific to each patient's swallowing and nutritional needs.

Esteemed professionals from the medical field, culinary arts and food profession serve as our guest judges. The audience is made up of faculty and students from different health professions and medical residents from NYU Langone Medical Center.

The students always rise to the challenge and create meals that meet all the criteria: tasty, eye appealing, and culturally and medically appropriate. This can make it very challenging for the judges to select a winner! The emphasis of this course is treating the patient, not the disease, and to place special value on sensory importance of a meal.

Noteworthy Practice Category: Program Improvement

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Coordinated Program
Amanda Holliday, MS, RD, LDN

University of North CarolinaThe task for tracking students through the dietetic internship process is a challenge for any school. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we developed a software platform called PRISM (Preceptor Instructor Student Management) to meet the needs of our 72 students and multiple preceptors in the field at any given time, and to aid instructors in data tracking and reporting.

PRISM supports preceptors by allowing them to easily track past, present, and current students and to complete student evaluations online. PRISM supports instructors by housing student, site and preceptor data (including secure storage of students' onboarding documentation for each site) as well as assignments and evaluations. The software supports students by storing contact information for instructor's and preceptors; tracking various rotations; storing syllabi, due dates, and assignments.

The software also provides a "blogging" feature that allows students to share their experiences with instructors and members of their cohort, and to respond to the posts of others. In addition, PRISM allows for private communication between students, instructors, and preceptors. PRISM can even follow students and survey them beyond graduation, allowing for continued data tracking and assistance in meeting ACEND® requirements.

PRISM has been a vital tool for UNC's students for three years and because it is fully customizable, we are beginning to market it to various programs in other universities.

View previous Noteworthy Practice honorees.