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Nutrition Informatics Blog

There are no accidents

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Last week I joined almost 400 members, staff and guest speakers at the Public Policy Workshop in Alexandria, VA.  This was not the first time I attended this event—nor the last.   Having become the accidental advocate—(I started out in clinical dietetics, but landed in advocating for nutrition inclusion in health IT), I was very interested to hear the stories of others who spend their days trying to improve nutrition care of Americans.   Mixed in with dignitaries such as Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and

Academy Public Policy Award Winner, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro were stories of many members who saw a need, became involved and were swept into the process of influencing policy and people to make a difference.  It was educational, motivating and energizing—a perfectly implemented schedule of events.  What added the finishing touch was a surprise to all—and reminded me of the book I read a few years ago—“There are no Accidents-Synchronicity and the Stories of our Lives”, by Robert H. Hopcke. 

It so happened that just as the attendees were headed to Capitol Hill to speak with their respective state legislators (a wonderful, “safety in crowds” way of easing “stage fright”)—that the US Discovery was scheduled to fly overhead prior to landing for its final time at Dulles Airport.  That may not sound like such a big deal but you have to see it to understand the unique look of a space shuttle attached to a 747!  The Discovery was circling the Capitol on it’s way to take a permanent home in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.  My e-mail over the next few days took on new meaning and intrigue as personal photos of the Discovery were shared between those who saw it first hand, pulled over in a single parking spot (which is next to impossible in our Nations Capitol) and photos “from my window” appeared.  It was a spectacular finale to the PPW and a wonderful coincidence that the Discovery just happened to circle the National Mall while dietitians were in route to advocate.  Or was it?  My thinking was that it was no accident, but a small unforgettable gift to those who give tirelessly on behalf of others.   Thank you to all who made it a memorable week.

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