VA St. Louis Health Care System - Dietetic Internship Program
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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA St. Louis Health Care System

Program Mission and Goals

Mission Statement
The mission of the VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program is to prepare entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists to meet the challenges of health care and community environments through a well-rounded program that focuses on the continuum of care from health promotion to disease prevention to chronic disease management with an emphasis on delivering patient-focused care, developing cultural sensitivity and advocating for change.

Goals and Objectives
1. Prepare culturally competent registered dietitan nutritionists who have attained skills to perform entry-level dietetics practice related to health promotion, disease prevention and chronic disease managment and to serve the nutritional needs of the Veteran population and the community at large.
     a. In the DI program, at least 80% of interns complete the program requirements within 15 months (150% of the program length).
         In the MS-DI program, at least 80% of interns complete the program requirements within 31 months (150% of the program length).
     b. At least 80% of program graduates will take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
     c. The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
     d. Of graduates who seek employment, at least 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
     e. 100% of graduates completing the program will demonstrate improved cultural competence along with knowledge of health promotion, disease prevention and chronic disease management strategies over the course of the internship program.
     f. At least 90% of employers responding to post graduate surveys will rate graduates as prepared for entry level practice. 

2. Prepare registered dietitian nutritionists to effectively work with diverse patient and community populations and to advocate for programs and policies aimed at improving health among vulnerable individuals and populations
     a. 80% of graduates responding to post graduate surveys will report high confidence in their abilities to use a unified health communication approach (awareness of an individual's health literacy, cultural preferences, reading ability and language skills) with patients, clients, and other stakeholders.
     b. 50% of graduates will report having advocated for public or social policy reform or in health promotion, disease prevention and chronic disease managment efforts aimed at improving the health of vulnerable individuals and populations at a national, local, or organizational level when surveyed within 5 years of graduation.
     c. 20% of graduates will be employed in the VA Health Care System within 5 years of graduation.

Goals Met: We are presently meeting or exceeding all of our Goals and Objectives. Additional program outcome information is available upon request to the internship director.
-100% of our graduates take and pass the RD Exam within one year of graduation.
-100% of our interns complete the supervised practice portion of the internship program in 10 months.
-100% of our graduates find employment within 12 months and 40% of graduates are working within the VA Health Care System nationwide.
-100% of employers responding to our survey rate our graduates as "highly trained" and performing at or above entry level in their first job.
-100% of graduates report high confidence in their ability to use a unified health communication approach when providing patient care.
-100% of interns demonstrate improved cultural competence along with knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention and treatment strategies over the course of the internship program.