Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association

WRDA is a professional organization of nutrition experts serving Westchester, Rockland, and their neighboring counties.  Please explore our website for information about the dietetic profession, opportunities, and events for dietitians in our district as well as the latest news and information on nutrition and health. Our membership is made up of nutrition professionals who work and/or live in the Westchester/Rockland area.  

WRDA is committed to leading the future of the dietetics profession and its members while serving the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition and well-being. We are an affiliate of the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA) and all of our members are members of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND), the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

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WRDA Board Elections Results

Congratulations, 2021-2022 WRDA Board!


Krish Drummond, RDN, CDN

Sandra Arevalo, MPH, RDN, CDN, CDE, CLC, FADA

Co-Presidents Elect

Jenna Lebowich, MS, RDN, CDN

Jessica Tosto, MS, RDN, CNSC

Immediate Past President



Dima Salhoobi, MS, RDN, CDN


Sofia Rafi, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

Membership Chair

Melissa Keeney, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

Nominating Chairs

Janice Shaw, MS, RDN, CDN

Donna Varamo, RD-E

If you are interested in a committee position or learning more about WRDA, please contact us at WRDABoard@gmail.com. 

Volunteers are needed for the following committees:

  • Community Outreach

  • Continuing Education Programs

  • Reimbursement

  • Public Policy

  • Technology

  • Student Liaisons and Student Volunteers

    Student Blog posts

    Saturday, May 29, 2021 1:51 PM • Anonymous
    Saturday, May 29, 2021 1:44 PM • Anonymous
    Wednesday, April 07, 2021 8:35 AM • Anonymous
    Saturday, January 30, 2021 1:22 PM • Anonymous

    WRDA 2021-2022 Scholarship Congratulations to the Recipients 

    The WRDA is pleased to award three scholarships for the 2021-2022 academic year: one $1,000 and two $500 amounts.

    Congratulations to the scholarship recipients for the 2021-2022 academic year:

    Kristen Nicolai, Hunter College School of Public Health $1000
    Marissa Lau, Pace University $500
    Madison Grande, University of New Haven $500

    The scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in a food and nutrition (nutritional sciences/dietetics) program or to students accepted into an internship or AP4 program for the 2021-2022 academic year. In order to receive the WRDA scholarship, the applicants must reside in Westchester or Rockland County and/or attend a college or internship/AP4 program in either of these counties.

    Thank you to all Participants of the 4th Annual Student Career Panel 

    Thank you to the participants of the WRDA 4th Annual Career Panel for students, co-sponsored by Pace University School of Health Sciences.  The Career Panel serves to introduce high school and college students who are interested in health and science to the career choice of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Nutrition and Dietetics Technician-Registered.  The virtual took place April 8, 2021 via Zoom.  

    All WRDA members were invited to attend the Student Career Panel.  The event featured a video presentation, breakout sessions, and an opportunity to network with other nutrition professionals and students interested in the profession.  Watch the video here.  

    Thank you to all who contributed to a successful event!

    WRDA Student Career Panel Committee

    Amy Habeck, President

    Jessica Tosto, Community Outreach Chair

    Sandra Arevalo, Co-President Elect

    Krish Drummond, Co-President Elect

    David Lee, Technology Chair

    Angela Iovine, Student Liaison

    Kristen Nicolai, Student Liaison

    NYSAND Updates on Public Policy and Reimbursement Issues

    NYSAND held a series of lunch-hour updates on public policy and reimbursement issues in January and February 2021.  Links to recordings can be found below and on the NYSAND website.  Further information is available from the WRDA Public Policy Co-Chairs, Elisa M Bremner and  Susan Juechter.  Email WRDABoard@gmail.com to contact them.  

    Reimbursement and Telehealth Updates
    Lois Chait, NYSAND Reimbursement Chair & Ellie Wilson, NYSAND Medicaid Taskforce Co-Chair

    Federal Policy Updates for 2021

    Jessica Garay, NYSAND Public Policy Coordinator

    Therapeutic Diet Order Writing Privileges Bill Update

    Josephine Connolly-Schoonen & Ann Darcy, NYSAND TDO Taskforce Co-Chairs with Chrissie Rutigliano, Roffee Group

    NYS Licensure Bill Update

    Karen Ostrum, NYSAND Licensure Taskforce Chair with Chrissie Rutigliano, Roffee Group

    Upcoming Meetings

    Join the WRDA

    Join the Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association today. Check out our Membership Benefits and apply today.

    2020-2021 Programming 

    More than 10 CEU credits FREE for members

    Fall 2020 Kickoff and Networking EventFood Insecurity: Local Agencies Respond to Need During Pandemic

    November webinarCoping with and Creating Change

    Clinical Update - Getting Paid:  Reimbursement and Compensation

    March webinar - Preventing Metabolic Adaptation in Weight Loss

    WRDA 4th Annual Student Career Panel

    April webinar - Understanding Binge Eating through the Lens of Intuitive Eating

    May webinar- PCOS and the RDN

    June webinar - Vegan Cooking Demonstration and Networking Event

    Looking for a CPEU certificate for a past WRDA event?

    Event attendees for all 2020-2021 events were emailed a link to the CPEU certificate after program completion.  If you can't find the email or the link is not working, send an email to WRDABoard@gmail.com with the title and/or date of the event.  We can verify attendance in the event log and email you a copy of the certificate.  Please allow at least 10 days lead time for certificates.  

    Send your MNT Success Stories to NYSAND

    NYSAND is asking for our assistance to highlight MNT Success among our members. This effort is to engage and show NYS Legislators that dietitians are vital to the healthcare continuum.  

    What can you do?  NYSAND is seeking concise snapshots of your MNT success stories to share in a social media and grassroots lobbying campaign.  Think of these stories as "MN-Tweets" and try to keep them as direct as possible.  The goal is to demonstrate the outcomes of MNT to these decision-makers and hearing directly from you is important!  These stories or snapshots of your successes can include positive outcomes or patient/client testimonials (No personal health information). NYSAND will use these as a way to appeal and show NYS how important MNT is.

    You can share the information on the form found on the NYSAND website.  You'll need to sign in to the NYSAND website or create an account and the form is easily completed from there.  We hope to hear from as many of you as possible!

    Do You Need a COVID-19 Vaccine? 

    Healthcare workers are eligible! 

    According to the NYS Department of Health COVID-19 websitevaccines are available at pharmacies, hospitals and through local health departments statewide – please contact your provider of choice to schedule your vaccine appointment. Learn more at the NYS COVID-19 vaccine information page.  

    Let's Engage With Our Legislators

    WRDA's Public Policy Committee would like to remind you that nutrition advocacy doesn't end with voting!

    The Tisch Center for Food Policy rates your representatives.  Click on an interactive map to see whether your legislators voted to keep food safe, healthy, and affordable. 

    Or you can check your legislator's report card to see how many bills they've sponsored, their voting record, and more! 

    Visit the Academy's Action Center to weigh in with your legislators.  The work has been done for you, all you have to do is sign your name to a letter for your representatives.  You are encouraged to add any additional information to personalize your letter.  Advocating for your patients, the public, and your career couldn't be easier!

    Clinical Update 2020

    Getting Paid:  Reimbursement and Compensation

    Thank you to all who registered and joined us on December 3 for the virtual Clinical Update.  The event featured 5 speakers from across the country and provided 4 CPEU for attendees.  Due to the generosity of our membership, we were able to offer 5 registration sponsorships for deserving students to attend the conference at no cost.  Thank you to everyone who participated in the Sponsor a Student program this year.

    Of course we would like to thank everyone for their patience as we dealt with technical issues that resulted in the conference running over time a bit.  Our nimble team and gifted speakers worked hard to recover from a few technical glitches.  

    Thank you to the content area experts who presented at the conference.  Your contributions made for a day of learning about "Getting Paid" for everyone.  Links to the presentations can be found below.  

    Lorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

    Generating Income Through Non-Traditional Means:  Publishing Opportunities for the RDN

    Keynote Speaker

    Lucille Beseler, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND

    President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2016-2017

    Reimbursement Opportunities: Position yourself for $uccess

    Kalese House, MPA

    Program Development and Grants Administrator

    Grant Funding for Nutrition Professionals

    Nate Stritzinger, MPH, RDN

    From Policy to Payment:  Advocating for Your Worth

    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Ilanit Blumenfeld Ghitis, MPH, RDN, CDN

    How to Start Your Own Nutrition Business

    Fall 2020 Kickoff and Networking Event

    WRDA is pleased to announce that the Fall Kickoff and Networking Event was a success!  The presenting community organizations each detailed innovative programming for community engagement and food assistance during the pandemic.  For more information on how to volunteer, donate, or learn more about the agencies, visit their websites.


    Proyecto Faro

    Second Chance Foods

    Centro de Amigos

    In addition to learning more about how our community is responding to food insecurity, members enjoyed networking and discussion in breakout rooms after the presentations.  

    Special "Thank you!" to Jenna Lebowich, Membership Chair, and Jessica Tosto, Community Engagement Chair for planning and executing a successful kickoff event!  The slides are available in the downloads section of the member pages.  

    WRDA Volunteer Day at People to People of Rockland County

    Thank you to all who were able to join us on 8/11/20 to assist People to People of Rockland County with unloading their food delivery.  It was a terrific opportunity for the members of WRDA to participate in ensuring that county residents in need have nutritious food for their families.  If you would like to participate in future events like this, please email the board with suggested community agencies.  You can reach the WRDA board at WRDABoard@gmail.com.  

    Email: wrdaboard@gmail.com
    ©Westchester Rockland Dietetic Association 2020-2021

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