We have exciting news and need your help!

The primary sponsor for the updated LDN licensure bill, Representative Thomas Mehaffie of the PA 106thdistrict, just sent out a co-sponsorship memo announcing his intent to introduce the bill and asking his colleagues to cosponsor. The new bill incorporates several critical updates including expanded title protection and the addition of medical nutrition therapy scope of practice for RDs. This bill will help protect the future of our profession and the health of all Pennsylvanians. We need each and every PAND member’s support in order to make it successful.

What you need to do: Get active to make this legislation happen!

Reach out to your Representatives -phone call, email, visit, and written letter or postcard… ANY CONTACT to ask them to support the bill and co-sponsor the legislation. If you are unsure who your legislator is, click on this link. 
Even if you have already reached out to your Representative, please reach out again and ask your representative to cosponsor Representative Mehaffie’s DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST BILL.

Click HERE for a sample email or letter you can send to your representative and a sample script of wording you can use if you call the office.

Why this is important:
We need every RDN/LDN in PA to make calls, send emails, and write letters asking for their support.
If we are successful in getting over 100 co-sponsors, we have a high likelihood of getting a hearing on the bill in the PA House of Representatives Professional Licensure Committee, which is the next critical step.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE: THIS IS OUR PROFESSION AND OUR FUTURE. ACT NOW.

Exciting Licensure News for 2019!

  • During the last legislative session, the PAND collaborated with Representative Thomas Mehaffie and nearly 20 legislators to introduce a bill updating the LDN sections of the professional nursing act.
  • On October 16, 2018, this legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives as HB 2721. As it was late in the legislative session, HB 2721 was referred to the House Professional Licensure Committee but not acted on.
  • PAND plans to introduce new legislation this VERY SOON. It will be similar to the 2018 HB 2721 bill but have a new bill number.
  • When introduced, we will inform you of the new bill number and post the entire bill for your review.
  • Information will be added here for YOU to work with your legislator: talking points, leave behind materials and much more. This will be available soon – check in February.

PAND NEEDS YOUR HELP – HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO!

PAND needs ALL members to help.

  1. Get to know your legislator or re-connect with him or her. Now is the time to make an appointment with your legislator at his or her home office to discuss who we are, what we do, where we work, the complexities of MNT, and how our PA residents are harmed by unlicensed persons who present themselves as nutrition experts without the education, experience, examination, and proven competence to do so.
  2. Find your STATE legislator and his/her office and contact information, click here, enter your address and the information will appear!
  3. If your legislator was a co-sponsor of HB 2721, reach out via email and say thank you. The following are the legislators who introduced and supported HB 2721: Mehaffie, Barrar, Watson, Charlton, Driscoll, Kaufer, Pickett, Carroll, Ravenstahl, Helm, Schweyer, Fritz, R. Brown, Pashinski, Sturla, Daley, Mullery, and English.
  4. Read the emails and constant contacts from PAND and the newsletter for updates.
  5. Check the sub-folders (coming soon) listed under the Licensure Bill 2019. This is accessible only to PAND members.           

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?

Below are a few of the reasons why PAND is acting on licensure now:

  1. You, our membership, asked us to do this when you responded to the 2016 membership survey. An overwhelming number of members commented that it was time to update the LDN statute.
  2. Our present statute was signed into law in 2002. The nutrition care that we provide patients today is very different and more complex than nutrition care provided in 2002.
  3. Nutrition advice whether it is accurate, inaccurate, or appropriate or inappropriate is everywhere. Pennsylvanians are confused about ideal nutrition care and recommendations.
  4. The public CANNOT distinguish between the title Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and other similar titles that less qualified persons use to market themselves. As an example, in Pennsylvania it is legal for anyone to call them self a nutritionist, nutrition counselor, diet therapist, and other titles. Because of this, unlicensed persons who do not possess the educational knowledge, experiential requirements, and skills that that the LDNs possess, harm trusting residents of Pennsylvania physically, medically, and financially on a regular basis.
  5. Our statute must be updated to allow LDNs to practice telehealth. The legislature will be working on telehealth legislation this year. Unless our statute is updated to include certain terms, LDNs will not be included in the bill.
  6. Although some LDNs are permitted to perform delegated diet order writing in their facilities, others are not permitted to do so because of issues with the scope of practice in our present statute.
  7. It is our responsibility as LDNs is to provide the best possible, medically appropriate, nutrition intervention services to all the residents of Pennsylvania. We need the updated licensure bill to achieve this goal.

BELOW ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES PROPOSED

Educational Requirements:               

Updated the educational requirements to assure that qualifications are appropriately rigorous for nutrition care provision in the 21st century and to assure Pennsylvania LDNs comply with the proposed 2024 CDR requirement of a master’s degree in order to take the registration examination for dietitians.

Scope of Practice:

Restate our legislated scope of practice. We are including medical nutrition therapy as the exclusive legislated domain of the licensed dietitian nutritionist. We also are including the up to date complex nutrition assessments and interventions as the exclusive legislated domain of the licensed dietitian nutritionist

Title Protection:

Updated the statute so that the terms dietitian, dietician, nutritionist, licensed dietitian nutritionist, and dietitian nutritionist are protected and can only be used by those who are licensed dietitians nutritionists in Pennsylvania.

Other changes:

Other changes include statutory protection to allow our students in supervised and approved programs to work to gain their educational and experiential requirements, a streamlined licensure application process for military members and spouses who are licensed in other states and who are transferred to Pennsylvania and wish to work here, and finally allowances for order writing and telehealth.

More information will follow – look for PAND alerts, read them, and take action!