I am honored to serve as your 2020-2021 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Chair and I follow in a long line of individuals who share a passion for our Foundation and profession. While I have had the opportunity to serve in many leadership roles locally and nationally with the Academy and the Commission on Dietetic Registration over the course of my career, it is distinctly exciting to take on a new role as Chair of our Foundation because I know the kind of difference we can make, especially now in this most challenging year.
In my role as the Executive Director of the Student Health Center and Pharmacy at the University of Alabama, I see first-hand the day-to-day challenges and impact COVID-19 is having on all aspects of our personal and professional lives and that of our students as well. It’s not my nature to back down from a challenge and I know what our profession is capable of when we all come together to make a difference. Truly our member driven initiatives, scholarships, fellowships, research and the list goes on, address not only today’s great needs, but invest in the future that we envision and our nation and the global community so greatly need.
As you know, our Foundation is the only charity dedicated exclusively to our profession, nutrition and dietetics and is the world’s largest provider of dietetic scholarships for students at all levels of study. We know students have been impacted financially from COVID-19, the number of scholarship applications that the Foundation receives each year is increasing and we are anticipating the need to be at an all-time high this year. We are doing everything in our power to be prepared to meet those needs as best we can.
Our Foundation is also here for all Academy members throughout our profession with resources that can help you through these unprecedented times. The Academy’s Front Line webinar series feature RDNs from a variety of settings sharing how they are providing the best possible nutrition care to patients. These webinars and related materials are available to all practitioners and made possible by our Foundation and its donors.
While we don’t know the full impact COVID-19 will have on the next year, it is evident that nutrition and dietetics professionals will be needed more than ever before and our Foundation will be there to empower you to be leaders and difference makers. Throughout my career and leadership roles, I have learned our profession truly cares and takes care of one another. Please support our efforts with a donation, a gift of any size makes a difference.
Margaret P. Garner, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, CIC
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation