In the midst of the second world war, dietitians in Charleston, corresponding with other dietitians in the state, met to arrange for affiliation. Mildred Kent Shaw of Ohio Valley General Hospital was elected the first president.
15 members were present at the first annual meeting, yet a ballroom was filled with commercial and professional exhibits. There was opportunity!
A topic at the second annual meeting was Food Rationing. Many dietitians were teaching Red Cross Nutrition Courses. West Virginia dietitians acted as hostesses to the Virginia and Caroline Dietetic Association.
In 1950, Charleston dietitians met with representative of the Diabetes Committee to standardize diabetic diets. WVDA assumed much responsibility for Camp Kno Koma-West Virginia's free camp for diabetic children. Members continue the work today.
In 1952, the WVDA scholarship program was established. To date, we've awarded 54 scholarships.
Alida Thistleton, president in 1960, recalls a challenging time during her presidency: They wanted to meet at an historic hotel when they learned that one member of their group would not be allowed in the hotel. So they tried another hotel. Yes, they were told, there was a table near the door and the member could come in the back door and sit there. WVDA had come face to face with segregation.
In the 1970s, journal clubs for the purpose of acquiring continuing education hours were formed in many areas of the state. WVU Medicine's journal club still meets once a month!
Many hospitals in the state had traineeships in their dietary departments, providing an ADA approved route to membership.
Nutribird was a shared education theme featured in nutrition education projects throughout the state and nation.
A 2004 relay Run Obesity Out of West Virginia raised awareness across the state with community events in seven cities.
In 2009, a childhood obesity essay contest was conducted for seventh grade students throughout the state with prizes presented at the West Virginia capital Easter egg hunt.
The annual "Dietitians Day at the Legislature" provides the opportunity to meet with elected officials in their capital offices.
West Virginia dietitians exhibit posters at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo annually.
West Virginia dietitians perform in key roles in public health initiatives and serve on numberous food and nutrition boards and commissions.
The 75th anniversary commemoration booklets, "Snapshots of the First 75 Years" was published for the gala celebration. Cindy Gay, editor, compiled photographs and tributes submitted by members with interviews from the original historian, Annabelle Cruise. 30 members wrote tributes, with history of the transition from food person to an important member of the healthcare team, obtaining liscensure, the formation of internships, early steps to obtaining insurance coverage and reimbursement, and much praise for the professionalism of the membership.
We were honored to have Academy President-Elect, Donna Marin, speak.
Marshall Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created an exhibit of artifacts from the 75 years.
A copy of the commemorative book was presented to Donna Martin for the national records.
"West Virginia began with a small group of dietitians scatted throughout the state. Now their efforts, and those who followed, including many women and a few men, are a matter of record in our national office."