2008 HEN Award Winners

Congratulations Alison Harmon of Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, and co-award winners, Tammy Vitale of Utah State University, Logan, Utah and Teri Underwood, consultant, Park City, Utah for receiving the 2008 HEN Excellence in Hunger & Environmental Nutrition Award.

Barbara Hartman of Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Martinsburg, West Virginia is the recipient of the 2008 HEN Excellence in Hunger & Environmental Nutrition Leadership Award.

Alison Harmon is a vital member of the Hunger & Environmental Nutrition DPG Sustainable Food System Committee serving last year as Chairperson. Alison has written articles for the HEN newsletter and spoken at multiple state affiliate conferences on the topic of sustainable food systems. As a professor, Alison saw a need for sustainable food system resources for dietetic educators working with the future of our profession. She is chairing a task force within HEN to create such a resource.

Alison has been an author and reviewer for the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, most recently serving as co-editor for the special issue of JHEN on Sustainable Food Systems.

When given an opportunity to contribute to literature and education on sustainable food systems, Alison’s answer is always a resounding “yes”. She served as a member of the ADA Sustainable Food Systems Task Force and presented an educational session, Sustainable Food Systems: Opportunities for Dietitians, at FNCE. 

Teri Underwood and Tammy Vitale just completed a three-year tenure as co-editors for the Hunger & Environmental Nutrition DPG quarterly newsletter. Under their leadership the HEN Newsletter continued to be a top-rated member benefit, with high quality articles and the first HEN-offered CPE articles.

Over the past three years, Teri & Tammy assured the newsletter served as more than a communication tool for HEN, but as a valuable means of educating members on important and timely issues that further the HEN mission. During this time, Teri and Tammy have identified and written articles tackling issues of sustainability, carbon footprints, pesticides in children, the paradox hunger and obesity, greening of hospital food service and much more.

Outside of their newsletter responsibilities, Tammy & Teri have been important members of HEN through the years. Last spring, they promoted HEN vision and values through presentations about sustainable food systems as part of the 14-state HEN state affiliate tour, through a presentation to the Utah Dietetic Association.

Barbara Hartman served as the Chairperson for the Hunger & Environmental Nutrition DPG in 2004. She led our DPG through a phase of strategic planning during a time when our small group was gaining our voice – both through education and policy – as we determined how to best merge our ideals of a sustainable food system and access to nutritious food for all people.

After her years in the Chair role, Barb’s dedication and leadership within HEN has continued to grow. As one of the matriarchs of the HEN family, Barb consistently serves as a sounding board and advisor, providing a calming voice or fire & inspiration to the leaders who have followed her.

Barb serves as an inspiration through her work as the Foodservice Director at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center to make changes that contribute to a healthy foodservice program by purchasing local products, including piloting a farm to hospital program, and educating her foodservice colleagues on doing the same. Barb truly lives her HEN values in her day-to-day professional work and is an inspiration to other foodservice dietitians looking for ways to do the same.

In 2007, Barb worked with fellow HEN member Melinda Hemmelgarn to provide the vision and the legwork to create the first annual HEN DPG Film Feastival. We’re grateful for that vision and happy they continued to work together in the 2nd annual event at this year’s FNCE.

It is a distinct honor and privilege to receive a HEN award. Alison, Tammy, Teri and Barb were nominated by their peers. They were honored at FNCE during the HEN Member Reception, Sunday, October 26 at the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center. Congratulations and thanks to all of them for their inspiration, passion and commitment.