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Policy Day
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South Carolina Policy Day

Involvement in public policy is vital to the health of our profession, and it affects every dietitian in our state!

The purpose of policy day is to educate our members (whether you are a beginner or an expert) about nutrition policy, and how you can affect change! More importantly, we take one day every year to reach out to our legislators and let them know about the important role that dietitians play and why we are good to know!

Consider taking this day to network with other RDs, get continuing education credit, and meet the people making decisions in our state that impact your profession.

Each year the SCAND Public Policy Panel plans a day for members to interact with their legislators and learn more about public policy. In the past we have called it ‘Legislative Day’, ‘Advocacy Day’, and most recently ‘Policy Day’. Typically we offer informative presentations that will help you get comfortable with the basics of public policy, licensure updates, and the importance of reporting harm. We generally go to the statehouse and informally call out members to introduce ourselves, our profession, and let our state senators and representatives know how we can help them!

In both 2015 and 2016, the Policy Panel decided to put most of our policy programming on Wednesday of the Annual meeting to get more Dietitians exposed to public policy. In 2017, we will go back to having Policy Day on its own day in March!

Video on how to complete an action alert

Policy Day 2017

Policy Day 2017 was held on March 8th at the beautiful Palmetto Club in Columbia. We had a great turnout of 22 dietitians and dietetic interns from across the state. Although politics and policy can seem very intimidating to those new to the political arena, Policy Day was relaxed and fun. There was a little something for everyone, regardless of your area of practice.

Our speakers included SCAND HOD Charlotte Caperton-Kilburn speaking on the current pending regulatory updates. The SCAND Policy Partner Coordinator, Ashley Thomas, spoke to the group about the Policy Partners program, taking action by completing action alerts and how to reach out to state legislators. Thankful for the beautiful weather, we then took a nice stroll to the State House. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis addressed the House of Representatives, recognizing SCAND, National Nutrition Month and the work we all do to make South Carolinians healthier as we looked on from the balcony. We then met with our district Representatives to introduce ourselves and to introduce them to the role of the RDN. Afterwards, we returned to the Palmetto Club for lunch and an afternoon filled with great speakers including Rozalynn Goodwin on the Healthier State House Initiative, Mandy Williams with SCDHHS provided an update on MNT provider usage of the Healthy Connections Medicaid program and MUSC Director of Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Janice Key spoke about her work in pediatric wellness and how RDNs and MDs can collaborate.

Policy Day makes reaching out to your legislators and getting caught up on whats going on with nutrition policy throughout South Carolina easy. Regardless of what area of nutrition you are in, nutrition policy impacts you. Policy is a critical component of our profession, we absolutely must advocate for ourselves as practitioners and for the people we serve.

 Holly Hirsh meet with Rep.Raye Felder (R-York)

Nina Crowley and Molly Jones met with Rep. Mike Sottile (R-Charleston) 

 Melissa Macher (CTDA President) and Naomi May met with Rep. Robert Brown (R-Charleston)

 Metta Price, Raven Wright and Katherine Bennett met with Rep. Micah Caskey (R-Lexington)

Twenty two RDNs and student interns visited the statehouse during policy day

Policy-Day at the Annual Meeting in 2016

In 2016, the policy panel worked hard to engage more members in the Public Policy Partners Program, and offered a pre-meeting webinar for Continuing Education 2 weeks prior to the annual meeting.

Pre-Annual Meeting WEBINAR for Meeting Attendees and Public Policy Partners

  • If you missed it, be sure to sign up as a public policy partner through this link, as it will be recorded and available to partners!

Policy Day at the Annual Meeting – Wednesday, May 4th

  • Nina Crowley (our Public Policy Coordinator) Kristen Quisenberry (our State Policy Representative) and Ashley Thomas (our Public Policy Partners (PPP) Coordinator) introduced SCAND policy initiatives and what PPP is all about, and outlined our plans for visiting the statehouse during lunchtime.
  • About 30 RDs and Interns walked to the statehouse to check out the sessions, call legislators out to have a brief introductory conversation and photo/social media opportunity, and attended informal presentations on policy in the conference room at the statehouse. 
  • We spoke with MUSC’s legislative aide about the nutrition policy climate, the role of lobbyists, and how to talk to legislators.

Thirty RDs and students visited the statehouse during policy day

Jennifer Schlub and Jeremy Ponds meet with Rep. Chip Huggins (R-Lexington).


Dr. Kathy Mercer meet with Rep. Chris Hart (D-Richland).

Kristen Quisenberry helps RDs do Action Alerts, and sign up to be a Public Policy Partner at our ‘Public Policy Pitstop’ Booth!

Policy-Programming at the Annual Meeting in 2015

In addition to our educational sessions, 29 RDs/students/interns walked to the SC Statehouse to tour and visit our legislators. We picked up the Governor’s proclamation declaring March to be National Nutrition Month and March 11 to be Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. We watched our legislators in session and were excited to have Representative Peter McCoy tell the group that it was NNM and to thank us for being there! Some of the group met with their legislators and we have connected with them on social media, so check out the pictures!

We started the day with Lisa Eaton Wright, MS, RDN, LDN, the immediate past chair of the Academy’s Legislative and Public Policy Committee (LPPC), who talked about “Policy Schmolicy” and she got us revved up to get INFORMED, CONNECTED, and INVOLVED! She gave a compelling argument for why RDNs need to be thinking of public policy, and a great way to get involved in SC is to sign up to become a Public Policy Partner. Partners will be able to become informed, connected, and involved in a low risk, low-time commitment way! Visit sign  up for more info!

Meredith Alger, MS, RDN, LD, a Masters in Healthcare Administration student at MUSC and RD, showed us “the Business Case for RDNs in Value Based Health Care”. Meredith presented us with the much needed shift in healthcare to looking at values that matter most to patients! She reminded us how important it is to demonstrate our value and outcomes in the nutrition care we provide.

Carrie Draper, MSW, presented on “SNAP Healthy Incentives Programs in SC” and outlined the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and gave our members a much needed update on what ‘Healthy Incentives’ are to encourage produce consumption among SNAP recipients.

Donna Quirk, MBA, RDN, LD, a self-proclaimed NIRD (Nutrition Informatics RD) shared her expertise on “Practicing Nutrition in a Digital World - Advancing Practice with Nutrition Informatics” and reminded us how nutrition informatics relates to all areas of our practice and showed us how regulations, standards, and technology are transforming healthcare. For more information, check out:


Finally, we had 2 sessions from the folks at SC Department of Health and Human Services. Megan Old, the Project Manager for the Obesity Initiative, gave an update on the proposed initiative that would reimburse Licensed Dietitians for counseling obese Medicaid beneficiaries (both adults and children in individual and group settings).

We were also excited to hear from Dustin Welch and Kate Reynolds, from SC DHHS Healthy Connections Prime, a program for the dually eligible Medicare & Medicaid population. They are working to build their network of Dietitians to provide a variety of nutrition services to their patients. This program is patient-centered and they are open to reimbursement for a variety of services.


For both the Obesity Initiative and Healthy Connections Prime, you need to enroll as a Medicaid Enrolled Provider. Act now by using the link available at:, and if you are a hospital dietitian, work with your hospital to take advantage of the waived group enrollment fee!


For more information, contact Jamie Kandora, SCAND’s Reimbursement Representative at:




 SCAND Annual Meeting 2015 - Twenty Nine RDs and students visited the statehouse during policy day


SCAND Annual Meeting 2015 - Charleston RDs Nina Crowley (PPC) and Kristen Quisenberry (SPR) with Rep Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston).



SCAND Annual Meeting 2015 - RDs at the statehouse getting introduced by Rep. Peter McCoy (R-Charleston).