Diabetes DPG 2022 Election

Diabetes DPG is pleased to present the slate of candidates for office for the 2022-23 year. Scroll down for personal statements.

Voting will be open February 1-15. Last year, the Diabetes DPG had about 19% of members participate. Help us raise the bar this election and make your voice heard!

For information about the national Academy election, visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/nominations-and-elections/national-election

For campaign guidelines, visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/leadership/nominations-and-elections/elections-process/national-campaign-rules

Chair-elect:

Laura Russell, MA, RDN, LD, CDCES
Anna Parker, DCN, RD, CDCES, FAND

Secretary:

Vita Tambone, MPH, RDN, CDN, CDCES
Bailee Sawyer, PhD, RDN, LD

HOD Delegate:

Alison Evert, MS, RDN, CDCES, FADCES
Jennifer Barr, MPH, CDCES, RDN, LDN

Nominating Committee Chair:

Sandy Parker, RDN, FAND
Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND

Laura Russell, MA, RDN, LD, CDCES

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I am passionate about providing effective education to people with diabetes and their caregivers. My experience has been in direct patient care for over 15 years, so I understand the challenges we face as clinicians. Starting out as an in-patient dietitian, then a research dietitian and moving to out-patient care gives me an appreciation for all aspects of diabetes. I have also managed an accredited DSME program for the past 8 years. The role of technology in helping both people living with diabetes and health care providers is exciting and something I am always looking to use and expand in my practice.  

Diabetes DPG has been a very valuable resource to me throughout my career. I have been involved with the Diabetes DPG leadership board for over 10 years and the network and experience I have gained is invaluable. I have served as the Website Chair, Electronic Communications Chair, Professional Development Chair and Secretary for Diabetes DPG. I know where this DPG has been and see a future that is bright. We have opportunities to involve more students, bring up more young leaders and provide mentorship to those new to diabetes care. Diabetes DPG aims to support RDNs and NDTRs in the work they are doing. I can help lead that work forward so that we are at the table and leading the healthcare community in caring for people and their families with diabetes.

Anna Parker, DCN, RD, CDCES, FAND
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I am honored for the opportunity to be placed on the DDPG ballot for Chair-Elect. I have been a member of DDPG for the past 10 years and have served as Professional Development Chair and Research Chair. During my graduate work, I was a recipient of the Karen Goldstein MNT grant from DDPG which allowed me to conduct research in prediabetes and publish a paper on the effect of MNT by a registered dietitian nutritionist in patients with prediabetes participating in a randomized controlled clinical research trial. I have spent the past 10 years devoted to diabetes research to improve patient care. In 2013, I earned an adjunct faculty appointment as Assistant Professor at Rutgers University sharing my knowledge in diabetes and mentoring students. In my commitment to the advancement of science, I have received numerous awards and accolades, including the California Dietetic Association Excellence in Research Award and the Huddleson Award. As Chair-Elect, my goals are to support DDPG members and volunteers, continue to provide continuing education via webinars and publications, increase diversity in the organization, increase the recognition of DDPG outside the Academy, and promote diabetes research. I feel that I am well-qualified to serve as your Chair-Elect and humbly ask for your support and vote.

Vita Tambone, MPH, RDN, CDN, CDCES


Thank you for this opportunity to run for the position of DDPG Secretary. As Secretary, I would be excited to continue to help DDPG run smoothly and be a valuable resource for its members and the larger diabetes community. I believe my detail-orientated nature, calm demeanor, and experience working with DDPG as the Awards Chair makes me well suited for the position. My participation in DDPG since the start of my career over 8 years ago has been such a pleasurable and rewarding experience and I would be honored to continue to serve this organization.

Bailee Sawyer, PhD, RDN, LD
Bailee Sawyer, PhD, RDN, LD has a doctorate in Exercise Science and Nutrition from North Dakota State University and has been a dietitian for the past five years. Dr. Sawyer is the new Director of Nutrition Science and Assistant Professor at Tarleton State University. Dr. Sawyer has a personal familial connection to diabetes, has focused the past four years of research to improve diabetes care. Dr. Sawyer has been a member of DDPG for the past 3 years and would love to grow into a leadership role. Dr. Sawyer has future ambitions to design research studies and educate colleagues on individualized diabetes management. Dr. Sawyer also received the Legislative stipend award, The Advocacy Summit, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes dietetic practice group for 2021 – 2022. 

Alison Evert, MS, RDN, CDCES, FADCES
I am honored to be placed on the ballot to serve as the DDPG's representative to the Academy's House of Delegates. I have been a member of the DDPG for over 25 years and past volunteer positions include DDPG Treasurer, Chair, and appointed positions such as Communications Chair. Over my career I have worked in various practice settings; in-patient, outpatient diabetes education center, and now supervising a team of RDN/CDCES's working in primary care. I am excited about the opportunity to use my skills and experience in the field of diabetes nutrition and education to now represent and promote the interests of DDPG members in the House of Delegates. In turn, as the DDPG delegate I would assist with dissemination of the Academy's initiatives that impact our membership. Now more than ever, with the additional challenges and stresses imposed by COVID on the population we serve, I would be honored to represent the DDPG in this role. 

Jennifer Barr, MPH, CDCES, RDN, LDN It has been an honor to serve as your Delegate for the past 2 1/2 years. Many positive and ground breaking changes are happening in the House of Delegates (HOD). I am running again as Delegate to continue the transformation of the HOD so that it can continue to serve as your voice in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This past year I have heard and spoke to many of you, and I would like to continue this relationship of trust and communication. Some of you may have received a text from me, relating to current Critical Issues at the HOD. I would like to continue this open line of communication and direct access in the next 3 years. My goal is that I am someone you can ask any question about changes or issues in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as continue to showcase and communication with you via our Podcast, Newsletters and E-Updates. Additionally, in partnership with our Leadership and Diversity Liaison, bring you a panel of stories of the field of how to incorporate diversity more into our profession so that we can help our patients, interdisciplinary providers and ourselves become more inclusive practitioners. In January, the HOD is working on developing Collaborative-Ready Practitioners including nurses, doctors and other allied practitioners. Our goal is that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the leader of change and innovation of nutrition care and practice. Last our Spring 2022 meeting focuses on COVID-19, volunteerism, and Academy Position Practices/Stances, in which I have been collecting your feedback of recommendations. Electing me for a second term will help to continue this momentum of change and transformation of the HOD. It has been an honor to serve you and be your voice in the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, more work needs to be done for this transformation and I hope you vote me to lead this change. 
Sandy Parker, RDN, FAND


I am honored to be placed on the DDPG ballot for Nominating Committee Chair-elect.  What I can bring to the position is experience and a strong commitment for diversity in our leadership.  My experience includes serving on my state nominating committee and on the Academy nominating committee.  In addition, I have served in many positions both elected and appointed for the DDPG and have a good understanding of what the roles require.  
Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LD, CDCES, FAND
It’s an honor to be nominated for the DDPG nominating vice chair position. I plan to use my experiences and connections from being an active member of the Academy for 40 years, serving in leadership positions including being on the DDPG board, and being an influencer in the diabetes arena to seek the best candidates for the DDPG. Building a diverse board for the DDPG is very important and I promise to continue the momentum of this organization.