Advocacy in the dietetics profession is essential. Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Technicians, Registered, dietetic interns, and dietetic students have a responsibility to advocate for nutrition-related policies. This legislation may include can school nutrition, Medicare coverage for MNT, expanded access to diabetes or obesity care, and many other areas.
As a part of advocacy work, it is essential to develop and maintain a relationship with your legislators on both a state and federal level. Many legislators offer public meetings, such as coffee hours or town halls, which provide an opportunity to meet your legislator. Another option is to set up a one-on-one meeting with the legislator or staff member. These meetings could be in person or, during the public health emergency, virtual. Meeting with the legislator or staff is a great way to discuss what a dietitian is and what we do, the impact we have on our patients, and any legislation that is impactful to our profession.
Whether you are just considering a meeting with your legislator or having been meeting with legislators for years, SWMDDA is here to support you. If you have questions or want help in arranging a meeting with your legislator, please contact us.
Find Your Legislators:
Are you reading to learn more about your legislator and reach out to them? We each have one state representative, one U.S. representative, one state senator, and two U.S. senators.
Another way to advocate is action alerts. Action alerts are available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and are a quick and easy form of advocacy. According to the Congressional Management Foundation, sending action alerts with a personalized message make the biggest impact when legislative offices consider taking action on a particular request.
You can see in the graph that less than 50 personalized emails with the action alert made the biggest impact on the likelihood that the office will consider taking action on the request. If you are able, please take the time to share a personalized story about the impact the request would have on your patients and/or profession.
If you don’t have a personalized story to share, action alerts in the form of a form email also are impactful when they are sent in much greater numbers. Make it a habit to send the available action alerts often – you can send the action alert every 24 hours.
Click here for a tutorial on how to submit your Action Alert.
Political Action Committee:
Our state affiliate, the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has a Political Action Committee (PAC). This PAC is used to keep Michigan dietitians visible in Lansing and to assist with advocacy of legislation concerning the health of Michiganders. Please consider making a donation to the Michigan Academy PAC to help strengthen our voice in Lansing.