2022 AME Speakers and Topics


2022 AME Speakers and Topics

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Dr. Asim A. Shah, MD

Mental Health, Resilience, and Wellness for Healthcare Practitioners During COVID

ArAND is honored to host Dr. Asim A. Shah, MD, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Shah joins us from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, where he is the Professor and Executive Vice Chair of the Dept. of Psychiatry; Chief of Division of Community Psychiatry; and Professor of Family & Community Medicine. He serves in other key leadership roles at Ben Taub Hospital and Harris Health System, also in Houston. Dr. Shah is broadly published, with his current research focus in ketamine and treatment of resistant depression, and has presented widely at national and international conferences, along with making many media appearances. Read more about Dr. Shah’s extensive work, honors, and publications at Dr. Asim A. Shah.

Dr. Melba Nicholson Sullivan, PhD, CEO

Pandemic Stress: Nurturing Sustainable Responses to the Impact of Work

Dr. Melba Nicholson Sullivan  is a licensed clinical-community psychologist, dynamic speaker, executive coach, and systems consultant. Her healthcare appointments include Duke University’s Medical Center and Center for Child and Family Policy. She created American University of Nigeria’s Human Development Center and has served as Training Director and Clinical Faculty at the Bellevue/NYU School of Medicine Program for Survivors of Torture. Dr. Nicholson Sullivan’s publications include peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Her work focuses on stress and resilience, diversity, equity, inclusion, leadership, management, and organizational development. View more of Dr. Nicholson Sullivan’s extensive reach of work at Freedom Flow Solutions.

Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

Optimal Plant-Based Eating for Your Brain and Body

Jill is a longtime nutrition and culinary educator who has been focusing on plant-based eating and cooking for whole body health. She is the author of 4 plant-based cookbooks: The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment; The New Fast Food; Nutrition CHAMPS; and Vegan Under Pressure. Jill was an adjunct instructor in the culinary department at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. She speaks about nutrition, brain and gut health through Zoom, in-person gatherings, and regularly at a resort spa in Mexico. You can sign up for Jill’s newsletter at: theveggiequeen.com

Natalie Cannady, M.Ed., C.P.T.

Unlocking Wellness

Natalie Cannady has been employed in the fitness and wellness industry since 2005. Natalie is currently the Chief Wellness Officer and Director of Wellness at UAMS, where she manages the Wellness program, and promotes it to all employees, students and interns. Due to Natalie’s broad scope of experience, she offers a unique perspective on fitness and wellness. Natalie’s passion is evident in her compassion and understanding as she works to promote health and wellness for all health care professionals.

Johnathan Voss, Pharm.D., BCCCP, BCNSP

What’s New in the ICU? ASPEN/SCCM 2016 and ESPEN 2019 Guidelines for Nutrition Support in the Critically Ill

John is a Medical Science Liaison with Fresenius Kabi USA, a global healthcare company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition for critically and chronically ill patients. He is a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist and Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist focused on the management of critically ill patients, including those on nutrition support. He regularly lectures on the topics of Fluid and Electrolyte Management and various Critical Care and Toxicology topics at the University of North Texas Health Science Center College of Pharmacy, where he is an adjunct clinical professor.

Amanda Dawson, MS, RD, CSG, LD

Geriatric Nutrition and Longevity of the Older Adult

Amanda Dawson, MS, RD, CSG, LD is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with the UAMS Clinical Nutrition Department. As an outpatient dietitian, she provides medical nutrition therapy in the Thomas and Lyon Longevity Clinic and the Chronic Kidney Disease Educator Clinic at UAMS. Amanda is Board Certified as a Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition and has extensive experience working with the older adult population leading  research with this unique population.  She enjoys being a part of a multidisciplinary team that focuses on the health and longevity of older adults.

Mary Pat Turon-Findley, MS, RD, CMHIMP, LD

International Clinical Ethics: Conversations around Covid, Mental Health, and Decisions in Nutrition

Mary Pat Turon-Findley, MS, RD, CMHIMP, LD, joins the ArAND 2022 Virtual Conference as a member of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) International Ethics Council, where she served as Chairwoman from 2019-2021 and as the Lead Panelist of the International Ethics Forum at the ASPEN Conference in 2021. She has also presented on topics such as ethical considerations in artificially administered nutrition and hydration, and Munchausen by Proxy. Ms. Turon-Findley hails from Cincinnati, OH, where she practices as an RD III focused in Behavioral Health at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital Center (CCHMC), and has over 35 years of experience working in Mental Health Nutrition.

Jennifer Shelton, MS, RD

Providing Nutrition Services via Telehealth

Jennifer Shelton joins AME from our own Affiliate of Arkansas! Jennifer works at Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield as a Network Development Representative, serving as a liaison between the company and the provider. She is currently serving on the Nutrition Services Payment Committee for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jennifer has extensive experience with reimbursement and telehealth practices, as she has previously served on the Board of our  ArAND Affiliate as Nutrition Services Payment Specialist. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for health care reform and works to find additional avenues for RDN employment and reimbursement.

Stacey Finch, MA, RD, LD

Managing the Workplace During COVID

Stacey Finch, MA, RD, LD, is the Director of Clinical Nutrition at Arkansas Children's Hospital. She has been with ACH since 2004 as a clinical Dietitian, until her transition to Director in 2017. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Ouachita Baptist University, completed the UAMS/CAVHS Dietetic Internship, and holds a Masters Degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. While she is an advocate for the patients at Arkansas Children's,  she is also a strong champion for the staff that she oversees, making sure that they have adequate support, up to date and meaningful education, and the overall confidence to serve children and families to the best of their abilities.

Dr. Alicia S. Landry, PhD, RD, SNS, LD

Changes to Dietetics Education and the Transition to the Future Education Model

Dr. Alicia Landry, PhD, RD, SNS, LD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Family Sciences at UCA. Dr. Landry’s research has included community-based participatory interventions to reduce chronic disease risk in health disparate populations, along with researching child nutrition programs, including farm to school and community gardens. Dr. Landry’s previous and current work focuses on the importance of preventive care and overall well-being to optimize the quality and quantity of individuals’ lives. Dr. Landry primarily teaches nutrition management, food science, and research classes at both the Undergraduate and Graduate levels.

Michelle Ator, JD

Avoiding Malpractice Claims – Practical Tips from a Malpractice Defense Lawyer

Michelle Ator heads the Medical Malpractice Group at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP. Her practice is focused on representing health care practitioners and entities in malpractice litigation and products cases. Michelle is a Past President of the Pulaski County Bar Association and remains actively involved in service to both the bar and the community.  She has received several awards, accolades and appointments based on her extensive career. Michelle is licensed to practice in Arkansas state courts, federal courts in Arkansas, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Linda Farr, RDN, CSOWM, LD, FAND

Academy (AND) in Action 2022:  Current Activities and Recent Developments at the Academy and the Foundation

Linda Farr, RDN, CSOWM, FAND, LD,  is the owner of Nutrition Associates of San Antonio, doing business as Nutritious Table. She is a board-certified specialist in obesity and weight management and provides personalized medical nutrition therapy to teens and adults and serves as a source for media interviews and participates in public speaking engagements. A former clinical dietitian and hospital foodservice director, Farr has more than 35 years of experience in medical, surgical, mental health, physical rehabilitation and private practice settings. She is a preceptor for several dietetic internships, focusing on reimbursement and business practices. Farr served as the Academy’s president in 2020-2021. She is a founding member of the Weight Management dietetic practice group and was the Texas Academy’s 2011 Distinguished Dietitian of the Year. She was instrumental in developing nutrition guidelines for diabetes-friendly restaurant choices and healthful vending machine criteria earning praise from the federal government.

Pediatric Panel (April Hobbs, MS, RD, CSP, CSPCC, LD; Audrey Fendley, MS, RD, CSP, LD; Peggy Fullenkamp Oomens, MS, RD, CNSC)

Navigating Neonatal Nutrition: A Practical Guide; Go with Your Gut: Updates in Current Pediatric GI Nutrition; Current Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice for Pediatric COVID Patients

April Hobbs, MS, RD, CSP, CSPCC, LD, started her long pediatric career at Arkansas Children's Hospital where she specialized in cardiology and metabolics. April then transitioned to neonatal dietetics, where she spent 13 years at UAMS in the NICU.  While there she was a NICU dietitian, team leader, and milk lab manager.  She also served briefly as Assistant Director of Nutrition Services at UAMS. April is currently employed by Sodexo at the Baptist Health Little Rock campus where she is the Lead NICU dietitian.  She has been a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition since 2005 and was in the first group to obtain the new CDR Certified Specialist for Pediatric Critical Care. She has served in multiple roles for ArAND including Secretary/Treasurer, Annual Meeting Chair, and President.  She has been a long term preceptor for the UAMS dietetic internship and the newer OBU internship programs.


Audrey Fendley, MS, RD, CSP, LD, has loved working as an RD at Arkansas Children’s Hospital for the past 13 years. She has worked in several inpatient and outpatient areas, including eating disorders and the medical ketogenic diet, but has been with ACH’s GI Clinic for the past 6 years and has been working in the Eosinophilic Esophagitis clinic since its inception in 2011. Audrey has served as the Chair of the Nutrition Conference Committee at ACH for the past 5 years, addressing topics ranging from neonatal and community nutrition to malnutrition.  In her spare time, Audrey enjoys cooking, fitness, and spending time with her husband, 10yr old son, and 2 dogs.

Peggy Fullenkamp Oomens, MS, RD, CNSC, brings over 40 years of pediatric nutrition experience to her role as a Pediatric RD III at Phoenix Children’s hospital in AZ, where she provides MNT to PICU and solid organ transplant patients, with cross-coverage in pediatric surgery, trauma, and neurology units. Peggy regularly provides nutrition training for medical residents, fellows, NPs, and dietetic interns. For 8 years, Peggy served as Clinical Nutrition Coordinator for Phoenix Children’s, and has served on many hospital committees, developing nutrition guidelines for critically ill patients. Peggy joins us with an extensive list of presentations and media activities, as well as memberships and leadership roles in local and national nutrition organizations.

Tegan Medico, MS, MPH, RD, CNSC

Addressing Food Insecurity in the Clinical Setting

Tegan serves the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and in the Pediatric Liver Transplant program, at the University of Virginia Health System. Additionally, Tegan has held adjunct instructor positions at Piedmont Valley Community College and at the University of Virginia. She is the 2019 recipient of Compass Group’s Clinician of the Year Award and has worked in a variety of roles including: intensive care, gastroenterology, nephrology, transplant, and home health nephrology, transplant, and home health.

Margaret-Ann Standridge, LCSW; Katie Walker, LCSW, RPT

Burnout and the Stress Cycle

Margaret-Ann Standridge, LCSW; and Katie Walker, LCSW, RPT, are the owners of Indigo Counseling. Margaret-Ann is a therapist with a passion for helping teens and adults heal from past trauma and improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Katie has recently served the North Little Rock School District as a mental health liaison, helping others cope with the effects the pandemic has had on students’ mental health. Katie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Registered Play Therapist. 

Both Margaret-Ann and Katie serve individuals who have experienced trauma or stress, utilizing trauma-based approaches such as Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy (EMDR), and Hypnotherapy. 

Margaret Pauly, MS, RD, LD

How to Make Any Meal Mediterranean (Chicken Fajitas)

Margaret Pauly, MS, RD, LD, has always had a love of good food. She also knows personally that food choices can have negative consequences. She became a believer of the impact of food on the body after being diagnosed with high cholesterol in her 40’s. She was able to lower her total cholesterol by 100 points with diet and exercise alone and continues to follow a healthy lifestyle. When she found herself at a crossroads in her career, Margaret decided to go back to school to become an RD. She is enjoying retirement now but is proud to have been one of the key initial players in the UAMS Culinary Medicine program, where she promoted the Mediterranean Lifestyle, taught classes and gave community presentations.

Margaret is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics where her last role was as Executive Director. She was the 2019 Outstanding Dietitian of the Dietetic Intern of the Year.

Dr. Darla Daniel O'Dwyer, PhD, RDN, LD

An Overview of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth for Nutrition Professionals

Dr. O'Dwyer, PhD, RDN, LD is  a faculty member at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas where she serves as the Dietetic Internship Director and Coordinator for the Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics program. Dr. O’Dwyer has a passion for integrative and functional medicine with research interests in gastrointestinal nutrition, dietary supplements, and fermented foods. She trained in functional medicine from the Kalish Institute to learn a more holistic approach to healing. Dr. O’Dwyer helps others with digestive disorders through her online practice: gutprofessor.com, and uses her experience to teach students clinical application and the business of nutrition consulting.

Michele King, RD, LD; and Alicia Meredith, RD, LD

Emerging Practice for Treating Adult COVID Patients

Michele King, RD, LD, and Alicia Meredith, RD, LD, join us from Baptist Health Hospital in Little Rock, AR where they cover the SICU, CCU, all adult ECMO (Michele), CIVCU, and general ICU (Alicia) areas. Michele and Alicia bring a combined 27 years of adult critical care experience, providing MNT some of the most acute COVID-19 cases in AR since the pandemic began in 2020. They are using innovative nutrition interventions to combat COVID-19 as well as other acute and intensive chronic diseases.

Dr. J.J. Mayo, Ph.D, RDN, LDN; and Jayme Mayo, MS, PA-C

Job and Interview Tips for Student/Intern Members: Wellness Career Opportunities

Dr. Mayo is an Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, teaching a variety of nutrition classes and serving as an academic advisor to students. Dr. Mayo serves on interdepartmental as well as campus-wide committees and has spent the last 30 years teaching people how to live a healthier lifestyle. He’s a published researcher, seasoned presenter, 14x Ironman finisher, and an avid Def Leppard fan.

Jayme Mayo, Physician Assistant, is the in-house medical provider and wellness director at Nabholz Construction where she has successfully led efforts over the past 15 years. Due to the Nabholz innovation, Jayme was featured in HBO’s documentary on obesity titled “Weight of the Nation” and with the CDC as a National Healthy Worksite Program Case Study and follow up video. Her program continues to win many awards.  The most recent was Nabholz being named #25 in the 101 Healthiest Employers in the Country. She speaks regularly at regional, national and international conferences sharing the many successes of her program.  Jayme is an 12x Ironman triathlon and ultra-marathon finisher.