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Networking Groups: Advancing Nutrition and Dietetics through Practice, Culture, and Geography

Published:January 23, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2012.10.011
      A PERPLEXING DECLINE IN ACTIVE memberships hit associations across the spectrum in the late 1990s, but by the mid-2000s, against the odds of a sluggish economy and continued struggles in other organizations, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Until January 2012, the Academy was known was the American Dietetic Association; throughout this document, it will be called the Academy.
      low asteriskUntil January 2012, the Academy was known was the American Dietetic Association; throughout this document, it will be called the Academy.
      had a resurgence.
      • Albrecht K.
      Is the association model broken? The case for reinvention. J Assoc Leadership.
      The subsequent increase in membership has climbed steadily in the years since. Is there any one component at the Academy to be highlighted as responsible for this turnaround? Perhaps not, but there is one functional networking unit—the affiliates, dietetic practice groups (DPGs), and member interest groups (MIGs)—that certainly has earned a fair amount of credit for maintaining an engaged and productive membership of dietetics practitioners. That these groups are a part of the pre-1990s history of the Academy should not detract from its spotlight as a harbinger for member satisfaction. Just as the Academy began to make major changes throughout the 2000s—restructuring its relationship with affiliates, modifying its leadership structure to give DPGs a stronger voice in governance, and creating an officially recognized meeting space for practitioners based on cultural markers—a feeling of community and connectedness was emerging in the 21st century as one of the greatest needs among professionals at large.
      • Wedeman S.C.
      Community as a driver for organizational successJ Assoc Leadership.
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      Biography

      K. Stein is a freelance writer, a consultant editor for the Nutrition Care Manual, and a former editor of the Journal, Traverse City, MI.