PAND Member Spotlight on Andrew Wade MS, RDN, LDN

BY JULIE STEFANSKI, PAND PR & SOCIAL MEDIA CHAIR

Do you remember what you were doing just after you turned twenty-six?  It likely did not include counseling sixty to seventy clients a week in your own private practice or being the employer of four other like-minded and productive registered dietitians.  Welcome to the hyper busy world of PAND member Andrew Wade, MS, RDN, LDN who all in this past year, got married, completed his master’s degree, spoke on physician collaboration at FNCE, bought a house and traveled to Ecuador, Peru, France, and England.

As with most dietitians, a love of food and health were at the root of Andrew’s choice to focus on the field of dietetics, “Nutrition and fueling the body has been an interest and passion since I was in high school. That interest expanded into a desire to help others. If I was not a Dietitian I think the fields of Endocrinology and Behavioral Psych are interesting, though I would likely end up pursuing a role as a motivational speaker.  I spend most of my time helping people understand balance. Building a positive relationship with food both home prepared and out is hard to grasp or trust for many.”

While some may cite a mother or grandmother as influencing their love of food, Andrew bestows this compliment on his father.  “My dad is a great cook. He is the one who taught me to cook. I grew up in an area with farmers markets, and my dad almost exclusively bought from local farms and butchers. I grew up eating freshly prepared meals with local ingredients. My college friends were amazed I had not tried most fast food restaurants in my early 20’s!”

For this York, PA native, Pittsburgh has captured Andrew’s heart.  After attending the University of Pittsburgh for undergraduate studies, Adagio Health for his Dietetic Internship, and the University of Pittsburgh for his Master’s degree, Andrew chose to remain in the Pittsburgh area to build his private practice.  “As owner of Case Specific Nutrition I perform nutrition counseling for weight loss, eating disorders, athletes and chronic disease management clients. In addition to 1 on 1 counseling we offer food environment services, as well as public speaking, group classes, and wellness benefits for various companies and organizations.”

As diversity chair for PAND Andrew is responsible for administering grants to promote diversity within our state organization and serves on the board of directors.  Volunteering provides Andrew with a way to strengthen the dietetics profession.  Andrew explained, “I think it is extremely valuable to contribute to the growth of our profession. We are an extremely crucial part of health and care, and without the help of existing professionals our message would not be loud enough.” Andrew added, “Collaboration with peers allows for a standardized message, which is so beneficial in a media driven society. United, we are able to progress with awareness and intention on all fronts.”

In the manner of most Guyatitians, Andrew has no issue with being a man in a predominantly female profession.  “Aside from feeling out of place at certain female planned events in my DI, I think it makes me easier to remember and as a result likely helps me network. I feel very comfortable working in a female led profession, and hope my perspective is an asset.”  Andrew actually likes dietitians so much that he chose to marry one; his partner Allison Wade, MS, RDN, LDN.

Being highly productive leaves little room for leisure pursuits, but Andrew thoroughly enjoys the ones he manages to fit in.  “I spend my quite a bit of my free time working on some other professional projects and business ideas I have. When I am trying to be unproductive, I love to exercise, take hikes with my wife and dog, try new restaurants, and host get-togethers for friends.”

Though travel has expanded Andrew’s food repertoire, there’s still one food he would rather skip, “My favorite food is crab, and if you want me to be tempted at a restaurant, I always love to try wings with a salad! The only food I do not enjoy is olives. All kinds. I try them every year and have yet to come across one I like. I even disliked the ones in Greece!”

For Andrew, his passion to help assist other improve their health is a never ending endeavor.  Andrew hopes in the future for expanded understanding in important up and coming areas of nutrition, “It frustrates me that there is such little funding for Nutrition Research. With Functional Nutrition and Nutritional Genomics as emerging topics of question, it is frustrating that we still know so little about how the “Synergy of food” effects an individual.”