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Uppal Manseerat
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Creating an Interactive Timeline of Canadian Dietetic History: The Public Face of Dietitians of Canada
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors
M. Uppal1, R. Krieger1, S. Hou1, L. Dietrich2, M. Wyatt3, J. Randall Simpson1, P. Brauer1.
1University of Guelph, Guelph, ON,2 Haliburton, ON,3 London, ON
Dietitians of Canada (DC) acts as the voice of dietitians to increase the profession’s visibility and communicate the profession’s value and their unique combination of skills and expertise to the public. There has been little documentation to describe DC’s growth and impact over the past 30 years.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
This research aims to document the history of DC promotion initiatives to fill in the gaps in the public face of DC timeline and capture the profession’s evolution.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
A literature review was first conducted to create a draft timeline for “The Public Face of DC.” Then, a qualitative study consisting of online semi-structured interviews with nine key informants was used to verify the accuracy of the timeline and provide perspectives on the impact of past work and future challenges/opportunities.
The timeline identified four key public promotion activities: Nutrition Month, Cookbooks, technological developments (DC website, EaTracker, apps), and information/call centers (Eat Right Ontario and Dial-A-Dietitian services nationwide). Five major themes emerged from the interviews: (1) branding of dietitians through Nutrition Months, (2) creating enhanced access to dietitians by offering Find a Dietitian features and call centers, (3) navigating the implications of dietitians entering social media, (4) decreased funding for public-facing tools and the (5) organizational shift to become a member-facing organization rather than public-facing.
Over the past 30 years, public-oriented activities have grown exponentially, especially with the rise of traditional and social media. By taking advantage of enhanced modes of communication and developing publicly accessible tools/resources, DC has increased dietitians’ visibility and accessibility and enhanced public perception of their services.
Significance to Dietetics
This project has highlighted the achievements of past dietitians and the association while providing a look at the future for the public face of DC as it transitions into more of a supportive role for individual dietitians.
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