Dear BGAND Members and Prospective Members,

On behalf of the Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Board of Directors, welcome to the 2020-21 membership year! We encourage you to join our organization, and invite you to attend BGAND events to connect with dietetic professionals in the district during the coming year. We extend a special thank-you to our ever persistent Past-President Lauren Roberson for her leadership through two terms of office.

We encourage our members and students to get involved with the board by contacting a chair of a committee. Please consider running for an elected position so that we may continue this organization, and our advocacy for the dietetics profession, for many years to come.

Please contact us if you have suggestions for our district. We look forward to an exciting and productive year together.


BGAND Board Members

Mark your calendars for the annual February Seminar. Multiple CPEU's to be offered!

  • Multiple speakers

  • Optional workout activity

  • Honors and awards presentation

When: February 20th, 8:30-11:30am

Place: Virtual

$15 for members

$25 for nonmembers

Register below!


Nominate for a BGAND Award!

Know an Outstanding Individual?  Nominate them today!

BGAND loves to recognize and acknowledge outstanding professionals within our field!  We encourage you to nominate someone for an award by clicking on the buttons below.  It's quick, easy and means a lot!

Dietetics Profession and COVID-19: Lessons Learned

February 20th, 8:30-11:30am

2021 February Seminar




Regardless of practice area, we have all adapted our work in the last year in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our February Seminar will feature speakers from four areas of nutrition and dietetics practice. Each will share how they adapted, offer key lessons learned from their work, and explain how they continue to prioritize optimal care for their priority populations, despite new challenges they may face. We hope to see you there!

Program Overview

Meet your speakers for the event!


Natalie Jones, Dr.PH, MPH 

Health and Fitness Professional

As a health and fitness professional, Natalie believes in lifestyle balance. Natalie takes pride in motivating others to achieve their health goals, in return allowing them to live more fully on every level of life. 

Will feature a low-impact yoga workout led by:

Austin Dacci, MS, RD, LD

Austin  is the current Food Service Director for Harrison County Schools in Cynthiana, KY. With Harrison County being the first county in Kentucky to have a COVID-19 case, he had to rapidly retool his program to serve his students during an unprecedented pandemic.

Erin Casey, MS, RD, LD

Erin has worked for several inpatient facilities in Lexington and also worked to establish a diabetes management program with a local family practice. She joined Baptist Health Lexington as an outpatient dietitian in 2020, where she serves as the resident GI expert.

Merritt Bates-Thomas, RDN, LD, LDE 

Merritt is the Health Education Director, Diabetes Population Health Specialist, and Public Information Officer for Green River District Health Department where she oversees the operation of the Health Education & Nutrition Services Department. 

Brooke Renn, RD, LD
& Bridgette McCauley, RD, LD

Brooke and Bridgette are Clinical Dietitians at UofL Health Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Brooke has found her passion in working with transplant patients, specifically those in need of a liver transplant. Bridgette enjoys working with critical care and patients needing nutrition support

From College to Career: The Journey to becoming a Marketing & Communications Dietitian

March 18th, 6:30-7:45pm

2021 March Meeting

Jada Linton, RDN, LD

Jada Kai Linton is a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in Georgia and based in the Greater Atlanta area. At National Peanut Board, she serves as a Registered Dietitian and Marketing Communications Associate. Jada brings a unique perspective to the team by pairing her science background and marketing and communications knowledge to effectively engage industry stakeholders, agencies, influencers, and consumers. 

Jada Linton, RDN, LD will review some of the life defining moments from college to career that can impact a professional journey. She will provide concrete examples to show how a registered dietitian brings a unique perspective in a marketing communications space through her work with the National Peanut Board.

After attending this session, attendees will be able to:
•     Leverage and optimize networking opportunities to enhance career development.
•    Plan career development for future opportunities in marketing and communications.

Program Overview

Becoming a member of the Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will unlock the following benefits:

  • Job listings in the Bluegrass Region and throughout Kentucky.

  • CEUs on a variety of topics.

  • Scholarship opportunity.

  • Networking opportunities with local RDs.

  • Partnering with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for advocacy

  • Opportunities to support, problem-solve, and discuss best-practice with fellow RDs.


2020 BGAND Award Recipients


Know someone deserving of an award?  Nominate them here!

Audrey Hay Award

Joe Higgins

Joe has been the Treasurer for BGAND for the past 4 years and an active member of BGAND for 8 years. He volunteered to continue as Treasurer at the end of his first 2-year term when the position was going to be vacant without another volunteer to fill the position. He has been an important asset to BGAND helping motivate others to participate in BGAND activities!

Outstanding Dietetic Educator

Heather Norman-Burgdolf

Dr. Norman’s engaging and enthusiastic teaching style and her commitment to sharing constructive and helpful feedback on assignments. She genuinely cares about her students and adjusts her teaching style to meet the needs of her students. Heather is also approachable and shows respect for students, she has a positive demeanor and kindness that is appreciated by both her students and colleagues.

Outstanding Dietetic Preceptor Award

Austin Dacci

Austin has been a tremendous asset to the UK Dietetic Internship and Coordinated Program.  Each year, he gladly accepts several interns from our program and provides an extremely high quality and diverse food service management experience for our interns. 

Emerging Dietetic Leader Award

Amy Camenisch

Amy has a profound love of food and nutrition that she shares with her clients.  Amy is a successful entrepreneur owning her own private practice.

Outstanding Dietetic Student

Vittoria Andriolo 

The attributes that make Vittoria an outstanding student go far beyond the walls of the classroom. Vittoria has demonstrated a high degree of initiative throughout her time at EKU, finding numerous avenues for involvement in the campus community.  She was not afraid to incorporate novel ideas or creativity in her work, which made her assignments stand out. 

Community Service Award

Community Action Council  

The Community Action Council is a private, non-profit organization that studies the causes and effects of poverty in our communities and works toward solutions. One of their programs dedicated to promoting nutritional well-being is the Head Start program. Not only does this Head Start program teach children birth to 5 years old healthy habits, but they involve parents as well. This program has helped change the lives through nutrition of people who would otherwise be overlooked.

Young Dietitian Award

Emily DeWitt

Emily is a personable individual that is well liked by others. She has always had a strong interest in helping improve the lives of others through nutrition. She has shared this passion with me because she likes the idea that it combines her skillset of compassion, nutritional knowledge, and building personal relationships

Special Contribution Award

Aaron Schwartz

It is very apparent that Aaron has spent a lot of time volunteering as BGAND Webmaster this year. He has done an amazing job completely redesigning our website. BGAND now has a website that is attractive, contemporary, and professional. He has helped streamline membership registration through the website; and, has created an easy way for members to openly communicate with the BGAND board.

Our by-laws represent the rules established by the organization to regulate itself, as provided for by the Board of Directors. This leadership operates as a legislature and establishes the degree of control that the by-laws may exercise.

BGAND Bylaws

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