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Celebrating the role of women in nnedpro

Updated: Mar 28, 2020

By Dr. Kathy Martin

In celebration of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2020, NNEdPro shines a light on the women shaping its future and who make up more than 60% of the Global Innovation Panel. As a global platform singling out individual women who are contributing to its success is difficult but where better to start than one of its founding directors Pauline Douglas RD. Pauline is the NNEdPro Vice-Chair and Operational Governance Director (Education). As a registered dietitian, she has spearheaded development in nutrition education across the professions and with her passion for high quality, evidence-based nutrition practices is a force to be reckoned with. Next is Dr Minha Rajput-Ray, other half of the founding director Professor Sumantra Ray, Minha, alongside their daughter Nikitah reminds us all that occupation is important and the role of food and nutrition at all stages of life ensuring the person is at the centre of all that is done.

Next in the list is Dr Kathy Martyn, who as a nurse and registered nutritionist heads the NNEdPro UK and Ireland regional network and co-leads the education & research in medical nutrition network, ERimNN. She also leads on Nutrition within the University of Brighton and Brighton and Sussex Medical School working closely with Sports and Exercise, Public Health, primary, secondary health care and community groups. Passionate about all things food, she works in the NHS and higher education, focussing on improving nutritional care in hospital. An enthusiastic mentor, she has supported students to develop innovative interventions - such as the Apple A Day project, run by medical students who volunteer to work in a secondary school in the UK to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds, by developing a better understanding of health and healthy eating. Working with NNEdPro since its inception in 2010, she has also had a lottery-funded grant to set up a sustainable primary school initiative - Kids Kitchen, encouraging children to cook and eat healthy food that culminates in the children running their restaurant for one night only. In 2014, she created the unique and innovative role of education and research dietitian to work at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School focusing on improving nutrition education in the undergraduate curriculum. This led to the recruitment of Elaine Macaninch, who has continued to develop undergraduate education alongside working with NNEdPro and more recently Culinary Medicine UK, where she is the nutrition lead and director. Elaine as a registered dietitian combines developing the nutrition curriculum at Brighton and Sussex Medical School with working in the NHS, with women who have gestational diabetes. As a leading figure within Culinary Medicine UK, she has shaped an innovative program that combines cooking with teaching for doctors and medical students so they are better equipped to start food conversations with their patients.

Further afield NNEdPro is supported by Professor Eleanor Beck a dietitian who is Discipline Leader in Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health. Eleanor was part of the expert working group for the recent reviews of the National Competency Standards for Dietitians and the Advanced Accrediting Practising Dietitian and Fellow competency standards. Fellow NNEdPro Australian is Associate Professor Lauren Ball who is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, NHMRC Investigator and Lead of the Healthy Primary Care team at Griffith University. As a dietitian, Lauren is passionate about ensuring good nutrition health care across the professions and is a leading researcher in primary care with research grants totalling over 3million Australian dollars.

NNEdPro has a strong history of supporting students and one of its finest is Dr Celia Laur who on completing her PhD has successfully instigated and implemented improvements to Nutritional Care in hospitals in Canada. The More2Eat program enabled 5 Canadian hospitals to work with researchers at the University of Waterloo to improve the nutrition care provided on one unit for a year. This innovative project set out to change hospital culture in a sustainable fashion that ensured malnutrition in the hospital was addressed. Celia also heads the GIP at NNEdPro and is the key organiser of the annual summer school based at Cambridge.

Marjorie Lima do Vale as Visiting Academic/Project Officer has been working with the Swiss Re Institute, who are one of NNEdPro’s newest specialist organisation members, looking at causal inference pathways in diet-related risks to health and disease. She is also providing support towards the annual Cambridge Summit as a forum for policy dialogue and a focal point in the development of ‘I-KANN-25’, an International Knowledge Application Network in Nutrition aligned with the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-25.

Our newest member is Breanna Lepre a visiting Academic/Project Officer who has already made a significant contribution to the RSM Nutritank 2020 conference held on 7 March 2020 and will be part of the operations and strategy team for the NNEdPro Summer School in Cambridge.

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