Extending Your Collaborative Reach

As a public health nutritionist, your work is rarely done in isolation. More often than not, successful outcomes depend on the strength of your partnerships and collaborations.

On a national level, ASPHN follows a parallel path. Several of our member-driven councils and committees develop strategic partnerships with other associations, non-profits, and government agencies to support and extend the work our members are doing at the state, local, or tribal level.

At the forefront of alliance building is ASPHN’s Collaboration Committee, where many of its members serve as liaisons to national organizations or projects that align with ASPHN’s mission. As ASPHN ambassadors, liaisons inform their partner organizations about ASPHN’s programs and activities, and they report back to the committee on emerging issues, campaigns, and potential opportunities. The results of our liaisons’ efforts are beneficial…not only to their own professional development, but to the entire membership as well.

Take, for example, the work done by Alison Conneally, MS, RDN, CDN with The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ Public Health/Community Nutrition Practice Group (PHCNPG). As co-chair of PHCNPG’s Expert Review Committee, Alison played a vital role in the revision of the Guidelines for Community Nutrition Supervised Experiences, which is now the Guide for Developing and Enhancing Skills in Public Health and Community Nutrition 3rd Edition. Alison also worked on the creation of the document’s supporting website, PublicHealthNutrition.org, a go-to ASPHN member resource.

Some of the other organizations with which liaisons are working include the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA), the National Physical Activity Society, the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, and the CSPI Food Marketing Workgroup. The committee is currently seeking a liaison to the American Public Health Association (APHA). This opportunity is ideal if you’re already a member of APHA and are involved with their Food and Nutrition Section.

The Collaboration Committee is also open to members who wish to serve on the committee, but don’t want to take an ambassador role. Committee members work to train the liaisons, support their efforts, identify partnership gaps, and field collaboration requests from other organizations. To learn more about liaisons and the Collaboration Committee’s work, be sure to contact Shana Patterson.

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