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Noteworthy Practices


Each quarter, ACEND® highlights one or more ACEND-accredited programs for their noteworthy practices. Noteworthy Practice Submissions are due January 13, 2023, April 14, 2023, July 14, 2023 and October 20, 2023.

  • 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 are reviewed by an ACEND Board review team and selected entries will be posted. Download a submission form to complete and email with supporting documentation with the subject line: Noteworthy Practice Submission.

2022 DEI Noteworthy Practice Honorees

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Dietetic Internship
Jillian Redgate MS, RD

Noteworthy Practice Category: Educational Activities in the Classroom and/or During Supervised Practice

The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) Dietetic Internship has implemented a 26-week multimedia (podcasts, articles, videos, and interactive web content) Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEB) curriculum for the 2021-2022 academic year. The objectives are to improve interns' cultural competence and humility, increase awareness of implicit biases, and understand how increased competence, humility and awareness of biases can improve patient care. The curriculum aims to teach interns about the principle in the 2018 Code of Ethics for the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession: "Social responsibility for local, regional, national, and global nutrition and well-being (Justice)" and meets the ACEND competencies CRDN 2.11, CRDN 2.14, CRDN 3.5 and CRDN 3.10.

Volunteers from diverse backgrounds reviewed the material and provided helpful recommendations. Topics include privilege, anti-racism, health at every size, race-based medicine, the effects of chronic stress and trauma on health, microaggressions, mental health stigma, ableism, intersectionality, DEB at work and in dietetics, and numerous weeks exploring specific groups including Black, Latinx, AAHNPI, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and LGBTQ+ people.

The interns completed 3 Harvard Implicit Bias Tests prior to beginning the curriculum and anonymously recorded their scores. They were surveyed after the first 6 weeks with positive results, indicating they felt the curriculum was improving their cultural humility, competency, and helping to improve their care of patients/clients. They will repeat Harvard Implicit Bias Test results after week 26, ideally with improved scores. We plan to update the curriculum annually to ensure the material remains fresh and relevant.

Cedar Crest College Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
Shelley L. DePinto, DHSc, MS, RDN, LDN
Noteworthy Practice Category: Educational Activities in the Classroom and/or During Supervised Practice

The DPD director, nutrition students, Parkhurst Dining and the Diversity and Inclusion Council of Cedar Crest College collaborated to promote DEI and wellness among the campus community. Senior nutrition students in the DPD presented culturally sensitive wellness presentations to the campus community on April 5 and 6, 2022, that showcased nutrient-dense, low-cost, cultural foods.

The presentations focused on under-consumed food groups and how a wide array of recipes and dishes from diverse cultures could increase the consumption of those under-consumed food groups. The presentations were followed by a recipe tasting on April 25, 2022, outside of the cafeteria over lunch.

The food samples featured the under-consumed food groups and represented recipes from various cultures around the globe. Parkhurst Dining prepared the food samples, and an IDEA grant from the Cedar Crest College Diversity and Inclusion Council funded the project.

Objectives:

  • Expand campus participation in activities that combine inclusivity, cultural humility and cultural appreciation with nutrition and health.
  • Increase consumption of under-consumed food groups among the campus population.

Feedback regarding the presentations was positive, and there was a respectable turnout for the food sampling with representation from diverse campus groups and students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The optional post-sampling survey showed that 100% of respondents enjoyed the foods they sampled. In addition, 91% of survey respondents reported that they plan to incorporate more of these food groups/subgroups into their diet based on the foods they sampled. Many participants requested the recipes, which were available in electronic format.

The project was integrated into the curriculum and met ACEND competencies KRDN 2.1, 2.6, and 2.7. The students were responsible for developing and implementing professional presentations incorporating cultural humility, respect for cultural differences, and inclusivity as part of the Nutrition Counseling course. In addition, the project increased student focus on how social inequity impacts health disparities.

2021 Noteworthy Practice Honorees

Bradley University Dietetic Internship Master of Science Program
Amanda Newell, PhD, RDN, LDN
Noteworthy Practice: Interprofessional Education

This project is innovative and noteworthy because it provided a unique opportunity for graduate dietetic interns to work directly and collaboratively with medical students on an authentic interprofessional education focused project that was designed to assist with multiple needs in the community during the pandemic. The mobile food pantry distribution sites were spearheaded by the dietetic and medical students, as well as with assistance from several local agencies (food bank, community clinic, health department, extension office). Dietetic students were tasked with creating culturally appropriate food bundles that met nutritional and financial parameters, as well as limited cooking skills and equipment. They also created recipe brochures and educational materials in both English and Spanish, which were all distributed at a series of community-wide mobile food pantry events over the summer of 2021. As clients drove up to the site, the medical students collected data including the number of families and language preference, as well as blood pressure and glucose checks. This information was communicated to the dietetic students in real-time to ensure the dietetic students provided the most appropriate nutrition information to their clients during the drive through event. Translators were available on-site, as needed. In sum, this innovative project provided a real-life experience of working as an interdisciplinary team with constituents from multiple agencies, where graduate dietetic and medical students collaborated to lead all efforts. The project provided 500+ food bundles to nearly 150 families in our community.

Missouri State University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics and Dietetic Internship
Sarah Murray, MS, RDN/LD and Hillary Roberts, MS, RDN/LD
Noteworthy Practice: Curriculum

The Didactic Program in Dietetics and Dietetic Internship programs at Missouri State University saw an opportunity to collaborate in a mentor/mentee experience for students enrolled in both programs. This experience was integrated into the curriculum for DTN 539, an undergraduate dietetics senior seminar course, and as part of the dietetic internship practicum. The interns mentored the undergraduate dietetic seniors in their DI application materials, completed a mock interview with the seniors providing feedback on their skills, and encouraged their mentees to attend an outside nutrition-related activity with them. The benefits of the mentor/mentee program were three-fold:

  • Provided the seniors an opportunity to experience the benefits of mentorship and exposure to a positive professional role model.
  • Created a valuable experience for dietetic interns in building professional relationships while learning the benefits of serving as a mentor.
  • Allowed both programs to meet student learning outcomes.

The interns reflected on their experience as mentors through an online discussion board. Discussion board posts were evaluated on to what extent interns described their strengths and areas of improvement as a mentor, in addition to how they described meeting or not meeting the "critical skills for successful mentors" as an outcome of this experience. Interns indicated their leadership and active listening skills increased due to learning how to offer constructive feedback in addition to learning how to "carefully walk the line between leader and friend." Furthermore, several interns stated they hope to become preceptors in the future. Through this activity, Missouri State University's DPD and DI programs are teaching the value of mentorship and motivating students to serve as preceptors when they transition to healthcare professionals.

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