March 2024 marks significant honors for SPH faculty member, Dr. Teresa Wagner

Dr. WagnerMarch 2024 has been a significant month for Dr. Teresa Wagner, associate professor of health administration and policy at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Public Health.

During the National Academies of Practice annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, she was inducted into the Registered Dietitian Academy inaugural cohort, and she has also been honored with the Texas Distinguished Dietitian award from the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

Distinguished Dietitian award

The Texas Distinguished Dietitian award is the highest honor bestowed on a member of the organization, recognizing a Texas dietitian who has made outstanding and significant contributions to both the academy and the dietetics profession. This year’s top award honors Wagner’s excellence and leadership in advancing the field.

As a registered and licensed dietitian with a doctorate in public health, Wagner is certified in public health, patient safety, lifestyle medicine and health coaching. She is also a certified community health worker instructor. In addition to her DrPH degree, she holds a bachelor’s degree in dietetics and a master’s in nutrition. Earlier in her career, Wagner served as media representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and as U.S. media ambassador for the National Dairy Council.

National Academies of Practice and National Nutrition Month

The National Academies of Practice is an alliance of health care professionals collaborating to transform national health and wellbeing through patient-centeredness and inclusivity. The organization’s annual forum highlights exceptional work being done to advocate for and advance scholarship, practice transformation, innovation and policy that enables interprofessional, collaborative practice to transform lives across the U.S.

Members are considered to be among the most distinguished practitioners from different health care and public health professions around the country. The organization is comprised of 15-plus academies, from nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy to psychology, social work, respiratory care, speech-language pathology and others.

“It is especially significant that the National Academies of Practice has introduced its inaugural cohort for registered dietitians during National Nutrition Month and around the time that National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is celebrated,” Wagner said.

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign established in 1973 to focus on informed food choices and healthful eating and physical activity habits. This year’s theme, “Beyond the Table,” addresses the farm-to-fork aspects of nutrition, from food production and distribution to navigating grocery stores and farmers markets, as well as home food safety and storage practices. It highlights various ways of eating healthfully, whether around a dinner table, on the go, in schools and restaurants, or at games and events. This year’s focus also addresses sustainability, such as decreasing food waste from school and work to home and beyond.

Serving the industry with pride

“It is an honor to be named to the new National Academies of Practice registered dietitians’ cohort, and I look forward to helping improve national health and wellbeing through the transformative power of nutrition and the collaborative efforts of our members across the country,” Wagner said. “I am excited to be a part of this organization, which includes other members of HSC across different disciplines and cohorts as well.”

“I am also very appreciative and humbled to accept this year’s Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics honor. Along with my fellow awardees in other categories, I am so proud of the strides our field has made – and will continue to make moving forward – toward increased awareness of the connection between nutrition, health and overall wellbeing,” she added.

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