Harriet began her career within the dietetics profession in 1946 after completing a B.S. degree in Dietetics and Food Service Management from Kansas State University and a dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Her early years of work consisted of hospital dietetics, public health nutrition, and finally Director of Nutrition at the Sparks Center for Developmental and Learning Disorders at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Department of Nutrition Sciences in the School of Health-Related Sciences.
During this time, she was part of the Dietetic Internship and Master’s in Nutrition Program at the University of Alabama. While enrolled in this program, Harriet received a scholarship from Mead Johnson through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Harriet retired as a Professor Emerita in 1993 but remained on at Sparks in a part-time capacity directing a 10-year continuing education grant. She also started a small consulting business, Nutrition Matters, which included Early Intervention programs, nutrition services for a follow-up clinic for premature infants, and a mental health facility.
Harriet has been involved with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Association at the district, state and national level, serving in the House of Delegates , Chairman of the Council on Practice, Member of the Registration Committee, Area Coordinator for Area 3 in the HOD , Chairman of two practice groups, and a Director on the Foundation Board. On a personal note, Harriet and her late husband were blessed with 8 children and two of her grandchildren currently work in the dietetics profession.
What motivated you to donate to the Foundation for the first time and what inspires you to continue giving?
Harriet Cloud, MS, RDN, FAND
I was on the Board of Directors as Chairman of the Council on Practice when I first started donating to the Foundation. Two dietitians from Alabama, Audrey Wright and Ken Wear were both on the Foundation board and did an excellent job of educating all of us on how much scholarships are needed for students to pursue their education or internships in dietetics. Once I started giving a donation it became a natural thing to make it an annual event.
Today the cost of the educational pathway for a career in dietetics is much higher than in the past and all of us are mandated to give back to help others. The amount we give doesn’t need to be great, but it should be sustainable. I have always felt that the affiliates and districts could develop projects to generate funds for the Foundation and many states do this and such activity could be increased.
Attending FNCE® and listening to the graduate students on Foundation fellowships describe their activities was truly inspiring. Foundation activities designed to improve nutritional status and physical activity are not known to many Academy members. I had the pleasure to select community programs for the grants from General Mills when I was on the Foundation board and it made a lasting impression on me in terms of all the impressive things the Academy Foundation can does for our profession.
What do you tell people about the Foundation?
Whenever I have the opportunity I particularly like to discuss with young dietitians, students and members of the Academy, the programs of the Foundation, the research, the programs given at FNCE®, the scholarships, fellowships that are given and activities to promote wellness. I am always surprised when long term members of the Academy at any level, Affiliate, DPG, member groups do not include giving to the Foundation as a part of their annual giving and how it can be an affordable amount.
What excites you most about the future of our profession?
Nutrition information has become one of the most popular topics for media, books, television, magazines, in today’s world. The profession has become very specialized as various disorders require specialized training. The trend toward private practice is exciting and the many different sites where dietetic practice can participate is amazing. I can visualize that tomorrow’s dietitian will need different types of training to fully participate in product development, creating nutrition centers where evaluations are completed and treatment programs developed.
Progress is finally being made for nutrition services billing which will help with more private practice, but first party pay has always been a possibility when the service offered is needed and wanted. This is currently a profession where a dietitian can work in so many different areas including health care, education, school food service, residential facilities, technology, just to name a few. The future will see much more entrepreneurship and creative endeavors fueled by educational programs redesigned to meet new pathways and funded partially by the Foundation. Members must be challenged to participate as donors.