Public Policy & Advocacy Update September 2020

The main priority of The Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Public Policy Committee has been and continues to be protecting our licensure. In Iowa, we have been governed by a licensure board that protects our profession, but our licensure continues to be threatened by other organizations that feel licensure is a barrier of entry to the workforce.  We know that there may be bills introduced during the upcoming legislative session with the goal of eliminating licensure for our and other professions. In Iowa, we have been governed by a licensure board that protects our profession.  Our licensure continues to be threatened by other organizations that feel licensure is a barrier of entry to the workforce. Licensure is important for multiple reasons,including that it protects the public by ensuring qualified individuals are providing services within our scope of practice and that some medical nutrition therapy services provided by a licensed professional will be covered by health insurance. We believe every Iowa dietitian needs to be advocating for our licensure, even if it doesn’t directly have an impact in your area.

Your Public Policy team is taking a Grassroots Advocacy approach. A recent action alert email was sent out by the Team encouraging Iowa dietitians to contact their legislators to share what we do, the value we provide, and how we can’t be replaced by the average nutritionist/health enthusiast. These next four months before the 2021 Session begins in January, are so important. The members of the Iowa Legislature aren’t familiar with what dietitians do. Our mission is to have dietitians from all over Iowa agree to ‘adopt’ their local Senator and/or Representative. You can contact your public policy team at letting us know of your willingness to be ‘matched.’ It is important that legislators hear a united message to leave a lasting impression: the more they hear the same message, the more they realize how important it is to their constituents. We encourage you to contact your legislators about licensure, and other issues that are important to you as well as all dietitians. We ask Iowa Academy members to stay informed on legislative issues, especially those affecting our profession.

Following your local legislators on social media and subscribing to their page will help you stay up-to- date with current topics.  Talking with your local legislators about what we, as dietitians, helps them understand the importance of licensure.  It also lets the legislators know who we are when other policy issues come up that affect us. People often think that since we’re registered, we don’t need to be licensed as well. These are two different things that are of equal importance, and it’s critical for us to let our legislators know why they are both essential to our career. Our Registration is what we earn once we’ve attained a Dietetics degree, completed a Dietetics internship, and passed a national exam. Our licensure is equally important because without it, Registered Dietitian services filed to health insurance would not be covered/reimbursed.  Licensure laws also decrease the potential for discriminatory, arbitrary or conflicting rules, while protecting the public by ensuring that health and nutrition providers are held to high standards. We encourage you to have continued contact with your local legislators. Our hope is developing these relationships will provide a foundation for passing other priorities, such as increased reimbursement for medical nutritional therapy,in the future.

On behalf of your Public Policy Committee members, please know your voice matters in educating our legislators.  In addition, we acknowledge and pledge to focus awareness on inequities in nutrition that exist in our state, and to support and encourage diversity in our field.   

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact any PPC member:

  • Lexie Stoneking, Public Policy Coordinator, 

  • Tracey Sauke, State Policy Representative, 

  • Kristy Carr, State Regulatory Specialist, 

  • Susie Roberts, Reimbursement Chair,


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