TED Talk sensation and best-selling author Brené Brown defines connection as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
Many of ASPHN’s members find the type of meaningful engagement described by Brown through their participation in the association’s various peer support groups and activities. Below are just some of the opportunities ASPHN facilitates to encourage sharing, learning, and fellowship.
ASPHN’s Annual Meeting
At the top of the list is the Annual Meeting, which is fast approaching in early June. As the association’s only in-person meeting, the event is designed to provide value for all attendees. Students have an opportunity to connect with potential mentors; new members are warmly welcomed into the fold; and everyone benefits from the relationships they develop during their time together.
The meeting’s planning committee works for months to develop relevant, thoughtful, and informative general learning sessions. This year the meeting will welcome back Dr. Robert Murray, MD, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics with The Ohio State University, College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Murray will present “The Crucial Contributions of Early Life Nutrition.” Viki Lorraine, an education consultant for the Michigan Department of Education, will lead “Let’s Get Real: Communicating in Plain Language” where attendees will learn the key concepts of plain language and put their newfound skills to practice.
If you’re passionate about current issues impacting public health nutrition, ASPHN’s Policy Committee is a great way to get involved. From menu labeling regulations, to SNAP education, to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the committee meets monthly via conference call to monitor key issues that align with ASPHN’s strategic goals. You can contact Michelle Futrell to learn more.
ASPHN’s Collaboration Committee believes that collaboration is key to strengthening positive outcomes in public health nutrition. The committee partners with organizations such as the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, US Breastfeeding Committee, and the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics to build unity and strength. Shana Patterson is the person to reach for more information.
For those interested in outreach, ASPHN’s Membership Communication and Outreach Committee promotes member involvement, works on member communications, and plans networking activities for the Annual Meeting. Be sure to contact Allison McGuigan to get involved.
ASPHN’s Nutrition Councils
Looking for an opportunity to connect with colleagues doing similar work in other states? Then you owe it to yourself to learn more about ASPHN’s three nutrition councils that focus on maternal and child health, fruit and vegetable consumption, and obesity prevention.
These active groups are built on a strong foundation of member networking. Individually, participation on the councils gives members an opportunity to forge their leadership skills and grow professionally through their expanded network. Collectively, there’s strength in numbers, which increases the councils’ odds of positively affecting nutrition policy, programs, and environments.
The members of the Maternal & Child Health Nutrition Council represent a wide array of practices. Council members advocate for nutrition policies, programs, and services that improve the well-being of women, infants, children, adolescents, and families.
Those involved with the National Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Council work to ensure that state public health nutrition leaders bring an organized voice to public health planning which affects fruit and vegetable consumption.
The Obesity Prevention Nutrition Council advocates for evidence-based policies, programs, and funding that promote health equity, nutrition, and physical activity.
The councils meet regularly via GoToMeeting, and the calls typically begin with an icebreaker, helping members connect by sharing fun facts about themselves. Participants are respectful and courteous, which encourages thoughtful and constructive discourse. What’s more, the meeting agendas are timely and often entail educational sessions, which benefit the members’ work within their own states. To learn more about ASPHN’s nutrition councils, please email Sandy Perkins.