Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Interns in Annapolis

This past week the University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Interns traveled to Annapolis to witness the Maryland government in action. We began our day with a video of the bill creation process and how a bill becomes a law. We then received a tour of the state buildings and a brief history of the many aspects of Maryland. Did you know the Maryland State House is the oldest state capital still in legislative use?

We then watched the Senators and House Delegates of the Maryland General Assembly in action; as bills were vetoed or passed into law following heated debates and discussions. It was fascinating to see these minds in action, each with the intention to better the lives of their fellow Marylanders. We were given the unique opportunity to witness the presentation of a specific bill to hopefully be passed into law in Baltimore County, MD. This law will positively impact the lives of many children and families in the Baltimore County communities, and I anticipate to learn the outcome of the constituents' efforts.

Finally we met with Senator James Brochin, who explained some of the bills he's involved with and passionate about throughout this Assembly. He and his team opened our eyes to chairmen/ chairwomen, council members, lobbyists, and the many other members of political action. We learned the roles each play in bill and law creation, and how many of their actions impact our everyday lives. As a clinician, I compare it to ICU rounds; me as a lobbyist, advocating for nutrition support to a physician, a chairmen, who is hesitant to begin enteral feeds.

Fresh from completing my rotation at the Center forNutrition Policy and Promotion, this day in Annapolis was extremely interesting to me. I already knew the importance of adequate policies to generate change toward a healthier America; however, I didn't realize the small initiatives I as an individual (both clinician and civilian) can create to ignite change. In addition to voicing my opinion and creating change for a healthier America, I can voice my opinions regarding the direction of my profession and the laws that specifically impact my future practice. As a future dietitian I will be able to advocate for my profession and for the greater good; a basic civic privilege.

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