April 2018 Member Spotlight

By Spencer Poston, PAND Media Team

This month’s spotlight is on Pittsburgh-based RD Erin Pover. Erin currently serves as the President of the Pittsburgh Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and is particularly passionate about obesity and weight management. Erin is board certified in that specialty and is also a member of the Weight Management DPG. She’s used this knowledge to improve her effectiveness as a Wellness Coach for Highmark Inc., where she’s been practicing since December of 2017. Before stepping into this new role, Erin worked as a clinical dietitian at Jefferson Hospital, another Pittsburgh institution. Erin has shared a little more about herself, along with her perspective of the dietetic profession.

A native to the city, Erin completed her BS, MS, and internship through the University of Pittsburgh. She was drawn to the field for its clinical nature, and she says that after she shadowed her first RD, it was an easy decision to pursue it. Being a Wellness Coach has allowed her to blend the health and education elements she loves, “if I had to pick another profession, it would probably be a high school teacher.”

Over the years, she’s enjoyed meeting other professionals with similar passions through school, work, and organizations like AND and PAND. When asked what she loves about being an Academy member, she admits, “there are too many benefits to count!”. However, she’s particularly grateful for the people she’s been able to connect with along the way. She also points out that every RD she knows is unique—“their experiences, education, and specialties are all so different– I’ve learned something from every RD I have met.”

Relationships are so important that they’re at the root of Erin’s advice for any young RD-to-be: “Take every opportunity you have to meet people and volunteer. You never know when you will cross paths again!” Volunteering, she emphasizes, is one of the biggest benefits of being part of such a close-knit community of fellow dietitians. “At first,” she says, “I started volunteering to give back. But over time I’ve realized I’ve gained so much more in return.” It’s this realization that has led Erin to her post as president of the Pittsburgh Academy chapter—where she hopes to continue to learn from peers, colleagues, and students alike.

Erin also hopes to see the profession continue to grow around her in the future. One change in particular that she would love to see during her career is dietitians owning rights to the word “Nutritionist” when they market their services. A small yet significant adjustment, it could save both providers and clients from confusion. However, she’s very happy at Highmark, and there’s nothing she’d change about the team of fellow coaches she works with—not even their eating habits! When she’s not on the job, Erin is spending time with her husband and their two daughters. You can find them all outside anytime the Pittsburgh weather lets them! You might also find Erin enjoying homegrown tomatoes in the summertime, her favorite food.