VOTE today in the election, February 1-15, 2018.
Officer term begins June 1, 2018

Dana Elia, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND
Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RDN

Therese Berry, MS, RDN, LD, CNSC
Ryan Whitcomb, MS, RD, CLT

Nominating Committee Chair-Elect:
Christa Biegler, RD, LN, CLT
Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RDN, LD, CEDRD

DPGs, MIGs and Affiliates are challenged to increase member participation in the Academy’s national election. Voting statistics for the DPGs, MIGs and affiliates for 2017 are listed on the Academy website, Please take time to vote and bring DIFM’s participation to the highest percentage in 2018!

Dana Elia, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND

Dana Elia, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND

Chair-Elect Candidate

Dana M. Elia, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND is an integrative and functional dietitian nutritionist with over 20 years of experience. Dana was first appointed to DIFM’s Executive Committee in 2013 as Member Services Chair (2014-2016) where she spearheaded the motion graphics video project, “What Do Integrative and Functional Dietitians Do?” that is now housed on DIFM’s homepage and a member benefit for all DIFM members. Dana continues to serve DIFM currently as Treasurer (2016-2018) and as a member of the joint DIFM-DPBRN Research Project Working Group.

Originally from New Jersey, Dana relocated to Lancaster, PA in 2001 where she is the owner of Fusion Integrative Health and Wellness, LLC and an adjunct faculty member at the PA College of Health Sciences. An active member of her community, Dana serves on the executive committees for the Lancaster Area Celiac Support group and the Lancaster Chapter of the American Holistic Nurses Association. As a recognized leader in integrative and functional nutrition, Dana has provided content reviews for projects such as the 5th edition of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, regularly speaks to both lay and professional audiences, is an IFNA support team member, and has been featured in or authored numerous articles for Natural Awakenings Magazine and LNP.

Dana’s fervor and dedication for the power within the food as medicine approach, stems from her own personal journey with autoimmune disease and a rare form of sarcoma. As a survivor and warrior for rare disease advocacy, Dana was recently chosen as a 1 of 4 survivors for featured videos with the Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University.

With a passion for ongoing education and a drive to always provide her patients with the best level of care, Dana is currently working on her doctorate in clinical functional nutrition (DCN) through Maryland University of Integrative Health. In her free time, she loves hiking, camping, traveling with her husband James, scuba diving, or spoiling her rescued lab, Champ.

Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RDN

Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RDN

Chair-Elect Candidate

Michelle is an Associate Professor in the Nutrition and Foods Department at Fullerton College. She participates on the Student Health Advisory Committee and conducts outreach at area high schools. She has supported student equity efforts, including presenting at the 2017 Males Achieving Success Conference, a program aimed at addressing the achievement gap for Latino males in higher education.

Michelle also offers nutrition house calls through her private practice, Go Wellness, which embraces a holistic view of nutrition and wellness. Her expertise been featured in various media outlets, including People, Shape, Reader’s Digest, and Cooking Light.

Michelle started serving Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) as a Social Media Associate in 2014 eventually working up to Social Media Chair for 2015-2017. During this time, the Facebook platform grew by over 12,000 followers. Michelle became the DIFM Marketing Chair in 2017, and she launched the Featured Recipes and Monthly Featured Member and Student Member posts for the DIFM website. In these roles, she has used her artistic side to create fun and informative marketing graphics and videos.

On a local level, Michelle is the Nominating Committee Chair for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND)-Orange District. She previously acted as CAND-Orange District Communications Chair from 2013-2017 and earned an award as the Outstanding Board Member in 2017.

She participated on the CAND Social Media Committee from 2011-2015.
Michelle maintains active memberships with the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors, and Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition Member Interest Group.

Michelle is a graduate of Missouri State University and earned a dual master’s in nutrition and public health from Saint Louis University. She will begin the Integrative Nutrition certificate program through the University of California, San Diego Extension starting in January 2018.
In her free time, Michelle enjoys making memories with her husband, three children, and dog, cooking, photography, Crossfit, yoga, triathlons, and traveling.

Therese Berry, MS, RDN, LD, CNSC

Therese Berry, MS, RDN, LD, CNSC

Treasurer Candidate

Therese Berry MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC has been a DIFM member since 2011 serving as Chair of Professional Advancement and Chair of the Speaker’s Bureau and currently as Professional Advancement Associate. Therese works for Coram CVS Specialty Infusion going on 10 years as a nutrition support dietitian where she cares for patients who require home parenteral nutrition. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Notre Dame College and a Master of Science in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve Medical Center. She has been a certified nutrition support clinician since 2001. She has a strong interest in functional medicine, food as medicine and is passionate about the belief that health is more than just freedom from illness

Ryan Whitcomb, RDN, CLT

Ryan Whitcomb, RDN, CLT

Treasurer Candidate

Ryan Whitcomb, RD, CLT is the owner of GUT RXN Nutrition, LLC, a virtual private practice where he offers various nutrition-based therapies for individuals with digestive disorders. In addition, he also works with companies of all sizes to design and develop employee-centered wellness programs.

A natural talker, Ryan has presented nutrition topics to diverse audiences throughout the northeast including corporations, schools and government agencies. He has made guest appearances on both The Whole Scoop and Real Food Radio podcasts discussing numerous topics from supplements to probiotics.

Ryan served as the Volunteer Coordinator of DIFM from 2015-2017. In addition, he is also a member of Nutrition Entrepreneurs, the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Long Island Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a Supporter of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Ryan is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Television-Radio. As a second career dietitian, Ryan completed his Didactic Program in Dietetics at Queens College in Flushing, NY before going on to complete his dietetic internship at Baylor University Medical Center (now Baylor Scott & White) in Dallas, TX. He is currently working on his master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine at the University of Western States in Portland, OR and will graduate in December of this year. He currently lives in both Jersey City, NJ and East Setauket, NY.

Christa Biegler, RDN, LD, CLT

Christa Biegler, RDN, LD, CLT

Nominating Committee Chair Elect and Committee Candidates

Christa Biegler is a consultant and private practice dietitian specializing in gut related issues, food sensitivities, inflammation and skin conditions. She contracts in writing and content management and is the host of The Less Stressed Life podcast.

She was awarded Young Dietitian of the Year for South Dakota in 2017, Outstanding Dietetic Student of the Year in 2009, served as public policy coordinator to the national congressional delegation from 2011-2015 and is the 2017-2018 president-elect for the South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She graduated from South Dakota State University in journalism and dietetics in 2009 and completed her dietetic internship at the St. Louis Department of Veterans Affairs with an emphasis in health disparities. She enjoys coordinating the local unicycle club with her family, skiing, grocery shopping, dirt biking and visiting higher elevations.

Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RDN, LD, CEDRD

Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RDN, LD, CEDRD

Nominating Committee Chair Elect and Committee Candidates

Thirty years ago, Rebecca started a private practice in nutrition counseling that has grown to seven RDNs in three locations in Maryland. She loves coaching Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and counseling clients recovering from eating disorders. She believes it is time to give back to the profession and help other RDNs fast-track their careers by helping them avoid missteps she made along the way.

Currently, she spends the majority of her time supervising, mentoring, and inspiring RDNs across the country. Her mission is help RDNs create the nutrition counseling practices of their dreams and be respected as the nutrition expert in their specific niche. She helps transform RDNs with top-notch clinical skills into business-savvy professionals with a success mindset and a compassionate heart. She has co-authored a workbook on private practice for RDNs and one on the non-dieting approach for clients.

Rebecca has a long history of volunteering with the NEDPG and also SCAN. She loves keeping up with the most exciting changes in the field of dietetics which definitely includes DIFM! She is also teaching a course at University of Maryland to help her stay on the cutting edge of nutrition.

Rebecca is passionate about helping clients recover from eating disorders. In 2011, Rebecca developed the cutting edge Empowered Eating Program to help clients with eating disorders recover while remaining at school or work.

When Rebecca is not training RDNs or counseling clients with eating disorders, she loves getting out in nature. You can often find her near Chesapeake Bay, kayaking or paddle-boarding. When not on the water, she loves to travel to big cities and visit national parks. In cold weather, you’ll find her behind a camera, looking for something unusual in a consignment shop, writing, or reading a book.

Nominations Closed. ....DIFM Officers....NOMINATIONS DUE October 15th, 2017!

Call for Nominations….DIFM Officers….NOMINATIONS DUE October 15th, 2017!

Would you like to get more involved with The Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) DPG, grow professionally, and have fun too?

The DIFM Nominating Committee invites all qualified members to consider running for an elected position to serve on the Executive Committee (EC) of DIFM.

These positions are a great way to get involved and are a competitive advantage on your resume! Serving in an elected position is a wonderful opportunity to play a role in the future of DIFM and integrative nutrition.

Eligible candidates for elected positions:

· are members of DIFM
· may simultaneously hold an elected or appointed position in an affiliate or district association, or can hold an appointed position with another DPG/MIG
· can NOT simultaneously hold an elected position in another DPG/MIG or an elected position at the Academy

The positions on the DIFM Ballot are:
Nominating Committee – 2 positions available: Nominating Committee Chair-Elect and Nominating Committee Member


Term: A 3-year commitment, one as Chair-elect, one as Chair, and one as Past Chair. All of these Chair positions are voting EC members.

Candidates must have served DIFM either as an elected officer, or an appointed Chair position for at least two years.

  • Chair-Elect works with the Newsletter committee, leads the annual spring EC Leadership Retreat, and helps plan the FNCE events for the following year. The time commitment for Chair-Elect varies according to time of year, but may be 10-20 hours per month
  • Paid travel, lodging, and per diem to the Academy’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) and the DIFM Spring Leadership Meeting

When Chair, there is a larger time commitment, averaging 15-20 hours per week when preparing for FNCE and EC conference calls, and there are some weeks with much less time commitment.

  • The Chair tasks include: lead the DPG to achieve the mission and vision; administrative tasks necessary to organize and lead the DPG; communicating with EC members; acting as liaison to The Academy; appointing and working with committee chairs; composing a quarterly newsletter article; approving contracts/service agreements; assisting in budget preparation; evaluating and directing the strategic plan; and planning and attending the FNCE and spring meeting
  • Meeting commitments are about 3-4 days at FNCE, 3 days at the spring meeting, and weekly conference calls
  • Paid travel, lodging, and per diem to the Academy’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) and the DIFM Spring Leadership Meeting

The Past Chair advises the Chair and is a member of the Nominating Committee. The Past Chair position requires a nominal time commitment.

  • The Past Chair prepares an Annual report for the Academy at the end of the term, and serves as a consulting member of the Nominating Committee
  • The Past Chair attends monthly conference calls and attends FNCE and the annual spring meeting with expenses paid, pending budget approval


An important position requiring a detail-oriented candidate who is responsible for the fiscal status of the DGP!

Term of office: two years, voting EC member

  • Creates and implements the DIFM DPG Program of Work (i.e. yearly budget) and participates in strategic planning to define future goals and program activities
  • Maintains records of all financial transactions and supporting documents according to the guidelines established for document retention by the Academy
  • Performs all functions usually vested in the office of the Treasurer (such as processing checks, credit cards, or cash).
  • Oversees the use of the DPG American Express (AMEX) credit card for approved uses, obtaining all receipts, financial coding of billing statements and submission to Academy
  • Writes/revises/authorizes service agreements and contracts on behalf of DIFM DPG
  • Serves as liaison with the Academy/DPG Accounting Department for financial transactions
  • Communicates ongoing fiscal status with DPG Executive Committee and prepares end of year financial report for DIFM DPG
  • Assists DIFM Chair by giving opinions, reviewing materials, responding to letters and communications
  • Attends Academy’s FNCE and Spring Leadership Retreat with expenses paid, pending budget approval
  • Participates in monthly conference calls and reviews monthly EC reports and minutes prior to all conference calls and meetings
  • Time commitment: an average of 2-3 hours per week and then 8-10 hours per during the Program of Work planning process

NOMINATING COMMITTEE – 2 positions available:

Being on the Nominating Committee is a great way to get involved and impact the future of the DPG.
Nominating Committee Chair-Elect Term: 2 year term
(1 year as Nominating Committee Chair Elect and 1 year as Nominating Committee Chair)

  • The Nominating Committee Chair prepares the ballot and performs associated election tasks
  • The time commitment for Nominating Chair is about 10 hours per month. Tasks are completed via email, phone, including the scheduled Nominating Calls and monthly EC Conference calls
  • Nominating Committee Chair may attend FNCE and the Spring Leadership Retreat with expenses paid, pending budget approval.

Nominating Committee Member: 1-year term

  • The Nominating Committee seeks nominees for open positions, and obtains all information necessary for the nomination process
  • The Nominating Committee seeks nominations for the various awards and stipends:
    Excellence in Practice, Excellence in Service, Outstanding Student, Lifetime Achievement and Visionary Awards as well as the Educational Stipends for Professionals and Students.

If you are interested in more information or submitting your name, please email Nominating Committee Chair, Stephanie Harris, at

If you have any questions about becoming a candidate, contact any of the Nominating Committee members:

Nominating Committee Chair-Elect, Susan Linke at

Nominating Committee Chair Member, Jessica Redmond at

Nominating Committee Chair Member, Kelly Morrow at

Please act now to submit your name for consideration or to nominate a potential candidate that you feel would serve DIFM well. We need time to complete the application process; the deadline is October 15, 2017.

Thank you!!

Nominating Committee Chair
Stephanie Harris


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