This year the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is celebrating 70 years of our Idaho affiliate. In leading up to our BIG celebration at our Annual Meeting in April, we will be highlighting our members and what they do as the ‘Nutrition Experts’ for our great state of Idaho. Today we are recognizing:
Kimberly Young, MS, RDN, LD
Nanci Jenkins, MS, RDN, LD
These two Idaho Registered Dietitian Nutritionists were recently part of a grant that allowed the Panhandle Health District to improve access to healthy food and beverages, and increase awareness for chronic disease prevention and treatment programs for Bonner County residents:
As Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, what do you do?
Kimberly is the Coordinator for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at Panhandle Health District (PHD), which covers the five northern counties in Idaho. WIC is a supplemental nutrition program funded by USDA.
Nanci is a WIC Dietitian for the Panhandle Health District 1 and a Grant Manager. As a WIC Dietitian, her primary responsibility is to provide nutrition education to WIC eligible woman, infants and children up to the age of 5 years old. She also provides one on one breastfeeding support for lactating mothers and works hard to connect WIC eligible families to the available resources in our community where they can receive additional services.
Recently, the National WIC Association (NWA) provided the Panhandle Health District an opportunity through a grant funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Community Partners for Health Mothers and Children (CPHMC). This grant allowed the Health District to step outside the box to improve access to healthy food and beverages, and increase awareness for chronic disease prevention and treatment programs for Bonner County residents through capacity building and clinical linkages.
As the grant manager, Nanci’s responsibilities included implementing the grant received by the Health District within the time frame designated by the grant and within the budgetary restrictions established by the grant as well as by the Health District’s fiscal department.
Nancy states, “NWA chose 32 WIC agencies across the country to implement this grant and the Panhandle Health District was one of the recipients. My task was to increase access to healthy food and beverages and to increase clinical-community linkages. I was given much leeway in how the deliverables were accomplished. The unique programs mentioned in the video were a result of the work my community did within the framework of a coalition (the Bonner County Coalition for Health -BCCH). BCCH was formed in response to the needs of the grant. The grant period has ended yet BCCH continues to meet once a month.
What are the benefits you have seen from your program or services in the Idaho community?
“When I saw the opportunity to apply for the CPHMC grant, I jumped on it. Bonner County, with a population of about 43,000, is considered a Health Professional Shortage area and is considered rural. Sandpoint is the largest city in Bonner County. Bonner County Coalition for Health (BCCH), a coalition of various community partners, formed as a result of CPHMC and is led by Nanci, a Bonner County resident. They did a great job creating a community action plan with programs to help meet the needs of Bonner County residents: Change for Change, Harvesting our Health, Healthy Rx, and partnering with Sandpoint Community Resource Center to help link community members to resources in Bonner County and with the BCCH programs. These programs are offering better opportunities for Bonner County to be a healthier community as a whole by increasing access to healthy food and beverage options, as well as linking residents to disease prevention programs and community resources.”
“The community benefits from this work have been tremendous. First of all, we now have a coalition and a regular meeting place to discuss health issues facing our community. Since the coalition is made up of a diverse group of health care providers, local government representatives and community members, we are in a position to not only share knowledge but actually create and accomplish projects to benefit our county. Specifically with the CPHMC grant we now have physicians writing prescriptions to their patients to practice healthy lifestyle behaviors. We have healthy recipes available and healthy food discounted at the regular grocery store. We have a terrific partner in the Sandpoint Community Resource Center where community members can go either online through the coalition website (www.bcch.us) or in person to seek additional resources needed to improve their health. And finally we have raised awareness about the struggles experienced by the low income population in our county and have given their concerns an avenue to be heard so that they might help shape community wide solutions.”
How can someone reach you to access your services or to learn more about your program(s)?
To find out more about the wonderful BCCH programs, visit www.bcch.us or contact Nanci Jenkins at (208) 263-5159. Those who are interested can also attend the coalition meetings, which are held in Sandpoint on the second Tuesday of the month at noon, 423 Third St.
Also, Nanci is now implementing a new grant funded by the Department of Health & Welfare titled, “Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes Prevention”. Contact Nanci Jenkins at (208) 263-5159 to learn more.
Thank you Kim and Nanci for all that you do for our great state of Idaho!
To learn more about the Idaho Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and how you can join, please visit eatrightidaho.org.
To find a Idaho Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in your area, please click here.