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 Intro/Home

The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program provides well-rounded, individualized, hands-on experiences in clinical settings, administration, food service management, and community dietetics while taking an in-depth look at health promotion, disease treatment, and disease prevention. Our concentration of "Health Promotion to Chronic Disease Management" challenges interns to expand on their personal beliefs and biases, which can impact patient care. Interns learn how to reduce risk for chronic disease through health promotion and to help those with chronic disease/illness better self-manage while developing MNT clinical expertise, effective communication skills, and professional excellence. Interns explore how dietitians contribute to improving the health of citizens by understanding the social determinants of health which lead to health disparities and inequities. There are opportunities to become more culturally competent, provide advocacy across the profession, utilize evidence-based research, and appreciate the value of life-long education. As you explore our program website, you will discover that our internship program offers many exciting and unique learning experiences with highly skilled registered dietitian preceptors as well as a variety of other health care professionals at the VA St. Louis Health Care System.

Beginning in 2022 we will offer two program tracks:

The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program has established a partnership with The University of Alabama to provide interns with the opportunity to enroll in a fully online, 30 credit-hour Master of Science program in Human Nutrition. The program is creatively designed to provide foundation knowledge before starting coursework, integrate class assignments with experiences in the internship, and assure advanced knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The VA dietetic internship director works directly with university faculty to align assignments and activities, allowing students to complete the internship and master’s degree in less than two years (21 months). All courses are offered fully online, and out of state fees are waived. Financial aid is available to cover course tuition and living expenses for students who qualify. The graduate program can accept up to 12 hours of graduate coursework as transfer credit that may be applied to the degree.

Track One will combine the VA supervised practice/dietetic internship with the University of Alabama for the 21-month online Masters’ degree in Human Nutrition, consisting of 4-5 semesters with a minimum of 30 credit hours. For the first year (2-3 semesters), students complete 18 hours of graduate coursework online, taking 6-9 credit hours per semester. Students may work full time during the first year of graduate classes, if desired. For the second year (final two semesters), students will move to St. Louis, Missouri where they continue with the online coursework (6 hours each semester) and complete the 10 months of supervised practice at the VA St. Louis Health Care System. A stipend is paid during the second year while in supervised practice at the VA. For more information about the graduate program at the University of Alabama and the VA Dietetic Internship Partnership go to  http://www.nhm.ches.ua.edu/dietetic-internship.html. For information about the MS in Human Nutrition go to: http://www.nhm.ches.ua.edu/masters-in-human-nutrition.html. For a general overview of the program, click here: https://vimeo.com/651200556/0d3137912d. A more detailed Q&A session can be found here:  https://vimeo.com/651203239/bf06430c3f.
For more information contact Dr. Elaine Molaison at efmolaison@ches.ua.edu

For the 2022-23 academic year, we will continue to take students who have completed an undergraduate DPD program, have earned a Bachelors degree or master's degree, and have a verification statement from the DPD program. These students may complete the supervised practice portion only, receive the stipend, receive a verification statement from our internship program and take the registration exam for dietititans. 

Beginning in 2023-24, Track Two
 is for students who already have a master's degree. They will complete the supervised practice portion only at the St. Louis VA and receive the stipend. Both tracks will receive a verification statement from the internship program and, along with their master's degree, be eligible to take the registration exam for dietitians upon graduation. 

This double-sided tri-fold flyer provides an overview about our program.

St. Louis Dietetic Internship flyer 

Accreditation
The program is currently granted continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

ACEND can be contacted by:

Email: ACEND@eatright.org

Phone: 800/877-1600 ext. 5400
Mail: Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL   60606-6995
Website: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend


Virtual Open House Event

Our 3-hour program includes a detailed presentation by the Internship Director along with a Q&A session with the Director and the current interns.  RSVP by December 16th to: kim.matwiejow2@va.gov.

Date:   December 17, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CST
Location:  An online Zoom link will be sent to those who RSVP by December 16th. 
Agenda:
9-9:10             Welcome Attendees
9:10-10:45      Presentation by Internship Director
10:45-11:00    Q&A with Internship Director
11:00-12:00    Q&A with current interns

We are NOT able to offer individual meetings or tours.
The Internship Director is available to answer specific questions via phone and email. 
PH: 314-652-4100, ext. 64594.              Email: kim.matwiejow2@va.gov