Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association

WRDA is a professional organization of nutrition experts serving Westchester, Rockland, and their neighboring counties.  Please explore our website for information about the dietetic profession, opportunities, and events for dietitians in our district as well as the latest news and information on nutrition and health. Our membership is made up of nutrition professionals who work and/or live in the Westchester/Rockland area.  

WRDA is committed to leading the future of the dietetics profession and its members while serving the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition and well-being. We are an affiliate of the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA) and all of our members are members of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND), the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

WRDA Board 2021-2022 Elections

The WRDA Board needs you!!! There are several open Board positions for 2021-2022, including 2 Presidents Elect, Secretary, and Nominating Co-Chair.  Joining the Board is a terrific way to get more involved in your profession.  You can submit the name of a colleague or self-nominate.  Email the name and contact information to WRDABoard@gmail.com for anyone you feel might be or even should be interested. The Nominating Co-Chairs, Rhonda Pine and Kathy Ryan will reach out to discuss the opportunities.  

Share Your Passion for Nutrition!

Submit a Video and Participate in the Student Career Panel 

We are pleased to be hosting our 4th Annual Career Panel for students.  The Career Panel aims to introduce high school and college students interested in health and science to the career choice of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Nutrition and Dietetics Technician-Registered.  The virtual event will take place April 8, 2021 at 7 PM -8:30 PM via Zoom.  

This year, we were fortunate to receive a grant from NYSAND to include additional RDN and student participation with a goal of encouraging more students of diverse and under-represented backgrounds to consider nutrition and dietetics as a career.  

We would like to invite you to participate in this event by presenting your experience in a short video submission to be shared with students at the virtual event.  

Submitted videos will be edited and made part of a larger video presentation to appear on our website, social media pages, and during the Student Career Panel.  All WRDA members are invited to attend the Student Career Panel at 7 PM-8:30 PM on 4/8/21 via Zoom.  The event will feature the edited video presentation and provide an opportunity to network with other nutrition professionals and students interested in the profession.  Student participants from past events have been highly interested in the networking portion of the program.  


Video Directions

You will have a three-minute window to record your answers to the prompts below, taking a small pause in between each prompt. This should be plenty of time, but you can re-record as many times as you would like. We encourage you to make it your own and have fun!


For an optimal video, record in a quiet space with a lighting source in front of you. Center your face in the middle of the screen. Make sure that your background is clear of clutter and distractions. If you prefer to record on a cell phone or tablet, please ensure your device is in landscape mode, not portrait. While talking, look at the camera.  Having a written script can be helpful. Speak slowly and clearly. Smile throughout the video and show your friendliest face. Try to dress with solid colors to avoid distraction.  Here is a sample video.  


When recording, please answer the following questions:

Hello, I’m [name], and live in [geographic area].

My specialty areas include xxxxxx and xxx.

I became interested in nutrition because...

Some of the challenges that I face in my profession are....

My favorite thing about being a dietitian is....

Being from XXXX (cultural background) helps me in my profession because...…

I invite you to become a registered dietitian or nutrition and dietetic technician-registered because......


Please send the video by March 15, 2021. If you have any questions, please email WRDABoard@gmail.com


Thank you,

WRDA Student Career Panel Committee

Amy Habeck, President

Jessica Tosto, Community Outreach Chair

Sandra Arevalo, Co-President Elect

Krish Drummond, Co-President Elect

David Lee, Technology Chair

Angela Iovine, Student Liaison

Kristen Nicolai, Student Liaison

NYSAND Updates on Public Policy and Reimbursement Issues

NYSAND held a series of lunch-hour updates on public policy and reimbursement issues in January and February 2021.  Links to recordings can be found below and on the NYSAND website.  Further information is available from the WRDA Public Policy Co-Chairs, Elisa M Bremner and  Susan Juechter.  Email WRDABoard@gmail.com to contact them.  

Friday 1/22 - Reimbursement and Telehealth Updates
Lois Chait, NYSAND Reimbursement Chair & Ellie Wilson, NYSAND Medicaid Taskforce Co-Chair

Friday 1/29/21 - Federal Policy Updates for 2021

Jessica Garay, NYSAND Public Policy Coordinator

Friday 2/5/21 - Therapeutic Diet Order Writing Privileges Bill Update

Josephine Connolly-Schoonen & Ann Darcy, NYSAND TDO Taskforce Co-Chairs with Chrissie Rutigliano, Roffee Group

Friday, 2/12/21 - NYS Licensure Bill Update

Karen Ostrum, NYSAND Licensure Taskforce Chair with Chrissie Rutigliano, Roffee Group

Upcoming Events

2020 Meetings

WRDA Scholarship Applications Accepted March 1-April 16, 2021

The WRDA will award three scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year: one $1,000 and two $500 amounts. The scholarships will be awarded to students enrolled in a food and nutrition (nutritional sciences/dietetics) program or to students accepted into an internship or AP4 program for the 2021-2022 academic year. In order to receive the WRDA scholarship, the applicants must reside in Westchester or Rockland County and/or attend a college or internship/AP4 program in either of these counties.

All requested information should be submitted online or directly to WRDA at WRDABoard@gmail.com no later than the due date, 4/16/21. Incomplete applications and applications received after the due date will not be considered. Letters of recommendation, resume, and grade point average verification should be submitted directly to WRDA at WRDABoard@gmail.com prior to the application deadline.

You can access the application here.  

Student Blog posts

30 Jan 2021 1:22 PM • Anonymous
23 Dec 2020 5:56 PM • Anonymous

Do You Need a COVID-19 Vaccine? 

Healthcare workers are eligible! 

According to the NYS Department of Health COVID-19 websitevaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments statewide – please contact your provider of choice to schedule your vaccine appointment.

Learn more at the NYS COVID-19 vaccine information page.  Complete the Am I Eligible prescreening tool to schedule an appointment.  Some NYS vaccination sites are currently scheduling appointments. 

Send your MNT Success Stories to NYSAND

NYSAND is asking for our assistance to highlight MNT Success among our members. This effort is to engage and show NYS Legislators that dietitians are vital to the healthcare continuum.  

What can you do?  NYSAND is seeking concise snapshots of your MNT success stories to share in a social media and grassroots lobbying campaign.  Think of these stories as "MN-Tweets" and try to keep them as direct as possible.  The goal is to demonstrate the outcomes of MNT to these decision-makers and hearing directly from you is important!  These stories or snapshots of your successes can include positive outcomes or patient/client testimonials (No personal health information). NYSAND will use these as a way to appeal and show NYS how important MNT is.

You can share the information on the form found on the NYSAND website.  You'll need to sign in to the NYSAND website or create an account and the form is easily completed from there.  We hope to hear from as many of you as possible!

Join the WRDA

Thank you for joining us for

Clinical Update

Getting Paid:  Reimbursement and Compensation

Thank you to all who registered and joined us on December 3 for the virtual Clinical Update.  The event featured 5 speakers from across the country and provided 4 CPEU for attendees.  Due to the generosity of our membership, we were able to offer 5 registration sponsorships for deserving students to attend the conference at no cost.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the Sponsor a Student program this year.

Of course we would like to thank everyone for their patience as we dealt with technical issues that resulted in the conference running over time a bit.  Our nimble team and gifted speakers worked hard to recover from a few technical glitches.  

Thank you to the content area experts who presented at the conference.  Your contributions made for a day of learning about "Getting Paid" for everyone.  Links to the presentations can be found below.  

Lorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

Generating Income Through Non-Traditional Means:  Publishing Opportunities for the RDN

Keynote Speaker

Lucille Beseler, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND

President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2016-2017

Reimbursement Opportunities: Position yourself for $uccess

Kalese House, MPA

Program Development and Grants Administrator

Grant Funding for Nutrition Professionals

Nate Stritzinger, MPH, RDN

From Policy to Payment:  Advocating for Your Worth

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Ilanit Blumenfeld Ghitis, MPH, RDN, CDN

How to Start Your Own Nutrition Business

Fall 2020 Kickoff and Networking Event

WRDA is pleased to announce that the Fall Kickoff and Networking Event was a success!  The presenting community organizations each detailed innovative programming for community engagement and food assistance during the pandemic.  For more information on how to volunteer, donate, or learn more about the agencies, visit their websites.


Proyecto Faro

Second Chance Foods

Centro de Amigos

In addition to learning more about how our community is responding to food insecurity, members enjoyed networking and discussion in breakout rooms after the presentations.  

Special "Thank you!" to Jenna Lebowich, Membership Chair, and Jessica Tosto, Community Engagement Chair for planning and executing a successful kickoff event!  The slides are available in the downloads section of the member pages.  

Thanks for Voting Everyone! 

Now What do We Do?

Let's Engage With Our Legislators

WRDA's Public Policy Committee would like to remind you that nutrition advocacy doesn't end with voting!

The Tisch Center for Food Policy rates your representatives.  Click on an interactive map to see whether your legislators voted to keep food safe, healthy, and affordable. 

Or you can check your legislator's report card to see how many bills they've sponsored, their voting record, and more! 

Visit the Academy's Action Center to weigh in with your legislators.  The work has been done for you, all you have to do is sign your name to a letter for your representatives.  You are encouraged to add any additional information to personalize your letter.  Advocating for your patients, the public, and your career couldn't be easier!

WRDA Volunteer Day at People to People of Rockland County

Thank you to all who were able to join us on 8/11/20 to assist People to People of Rockland County with unloading their food delivery.  It was a terrific opportunity for the members of WRDA to participate in ensuring that county residents in need have nutritious food for their families.  If you would like to participate in future events like this, please email the board with suggested community agencies.  You can reach the WRDA board at WRDABoard@gmail.com.  


Phone: (914) 821-5040
Email: wrdaboard@gmail.com
©Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association 2013-2014

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