Neva Cochran, is an award winning registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition communications consultant in Dallas, Texas, who partners with food, nutrition and agricultural organizations to promote positive, accurate, scientific-based nutrition messages.
What motivated you to donate to the Foundation for the first time? And what has inspired you to continue giving?
I don’t actually remember when I first donated to the Foundation but I’m sure it was for scholarships as that was primarily what the Foundation’s focus was early in my career.
The first major campaign I supported was the Let’s Build our Future initiative in the late 80s and early 90s, which launched the National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics, our first public nutrition education initiative. Among other programs, we had a hotline staffed by Academy RDN employees to answer consumers’ questions about nutrition. It served as a resource for members as well.
As I progressed in my career and was involved in Academy leadership roles, I became even more aware of the critical need for funding to support the Foundation’s work. And as I was able, I increased my giving. I continue to donate because I fervently believe in the Foundation’s work that is focused on both our members and the public.
What prompts you to give to the Foundation instead of another health-related or charitable organization?
The Foundation is the only charitable organization that is dedicated to promoting the registered dietitian nutritionist’s unique role in improving health through food and nutrition in all of its initiatives. If we as members do not give to the Foundation to promote scholarships, research and public education, who else will?
What excites you most about the future of our profession?
As someone who has practiced outside traditional dietetics roles for much of my career I am most excited about the many new opportunities that registered dietitian nutritionists and Academy members can be involved in, whether it be more sophisticated and personalized medical nutrition therapy, working to alleviate hunger in the United States and around the world, working in wellness programs at worksites and schools, in culinary education, or being involved in public education through evolving media and Internet opportunities. There are many more options now than there were when I began in the profession. Both the Academy and its members need to be proactive in taking advantage of these possibilities. And the Foundation’s Second Century Initiative is working to create more of these opportunities and position our profession and members as leading voices in the role that food and nutrition play in health promotion and disease prevention.
What do you tell people about the Foundation?
The Foundation is supporting the future of our profession by providing scholarships for students, funding dietetics research, promoting excellence and innovation in practice through awards, grants, fellowships and resources for members, encouraging eating for optimum health through public education initiatives and working toward hunger relief both in the U.S. and abroad through fellowship and other programs. Therefore, by giving to the Foundation you are supporting projects that will advance our profession, its value and our members as food and nutrition experts to help people live a more healthful life.
In 2016, Neva hosted a reception in her home to raise awareness and funds for the Foundation’s Second Century Member Campaign – READ MORE