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10/05/2010

Help Us Map Dietitian Resources for Health Care Reform!

As the new State Regulatory Specialist for the Ohio Dietetic Association it is my responsibility to work with ODA leaders and the Legislative and Public Policy Panel to connect the association with the regulatory processes occurring in Ohio state government. Rules and policies that are implemented by the state define programs and affect not only the citizens benefitting from them but also the work and profession of dietitians. It is my intention to help raise the visibility of dietitians and food policy in health care changes in Ohio. Over the summer we have already been at work commenting on rules currently under revision.

In March 2010 Congress passed and President Obama signed the federal Health Care Reform bill. There are many components to the reforms that will be implemented over the next ten years. Most of these reforms will be implemented at the state level - resulting in an increase in regulatory activity here in Ohio and across the country. Many state regulations will be opened and reviewed for updates and changes to accommodate the new programs, and it is anticipated that new regulations will also be added.

This provides unprecedented opportunities for dietitians to be included as the nutrition care providers in health facilities and schools and in health programs like Medical Homes, Medicaid expansion, private insurance, etc.

In order to effectively position dietitians we must monitor state regulatory issues and respond to emerging opportunities and challenges. We will meet with leaders in Ohio's state, county, and community agencies to be certain that dietitians find a seat at the table when health care issues are discussed and regulations are developed. This will require time and people with expertise in a broad range of areas!

As one of the first steps in our plan of action, we need to "map" the dietitian resources in Ohio so that we can utilize the expertise of dietitians who are experts in particular areas of health and nutrition, who may already be working with agencies or groups developing state regulations, and who are willing to help assure the role of the profession in health programs.

At this time we are looking for dietitians working in the following areas:

Breastfeeding State Insurance
Child obesity Small Business / Employee wellness programs
Community transformation grants
Leaders of Dietetic Practice Groups
Home visitation programs
School nutrition and school based clinics
Medicaid, Medicaid waivers and Patient Centered Homes
Aging and Living Well CDC Grant Program

Please contact Kay Mavko at kmavko@columbus.rr.com (and put the words "Dietitian Mapping" in the subject line) if you are working in any of the areas above and would be willing to help us position dietitians for opportunities in health care reform.


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