Academy Letter to Secretary Azar on HHS Confirmation

January 29, 2018

The Honorable Alex Azar
Secretary of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Azar:

I am writing to congratulate you on your confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as the 24th Secretary of Health and Human Services. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and I am proud to be serving as the 2017-2018 president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the country's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. I look forward to working with you to advance innovative approaches to improve health outcomes for individuals, families and our entire nation.

Your leadership will be invaluable as the Academy continues our work to improve the nutrition and health of all Americans. In particular, Academy members play a critical role in programs funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund, engaging in work ranging from improving community access to healthy food to developing and implementing statewide interventions to prevent obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Public health and community nutrition registered dietitian nutritionists are leaders at federal, state and community agencies, successfully implementing complex food and nutrition programs that improve the health of individuals and communities. The Academy represents more than 100,000 health professionals, primarily registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered (NDTRs) and advanced-degree nutritionists who play a key role in shaping the public’s food choices, improving people's nutritional status and preventing and treating chronic disease.

I hope we can meet soon to discuss our shared objectives and areas of possible collaboration between the Academy and HHS. In addition, your staff can contact Jeanne Blankenship at 312/899-1730 or by email at with any questions or requests for additional information.

Thank you again for your leadership, and my best wishes for your continued success as we work toward our shared goal of improving all people's nutrition and health.


Donna S. Martin, EdS, RDN, LD, SNS, FAND
President, 2017-2018