The California State University Fresno, Dietetic Internship (DI) program graduated it first class of dietetic interns in 1999, over twenty years ago, serving a need for post-baccaulaurette supervised practice education for students who desire to be Registered Dietitian (RD) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Dietitians are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. The DI program's mission is to provide future RD/RDN's experiential hands-on supervised practice with a concentration on culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention in a variety of dietetic settings within the Central Valley. Please get involved today by donating and/or sharing about our unique program.
The Dietetic Internship (DI) program has two main goals:
- To provide guidance and leadership for dietetic intern graduates through an ACEND accredited program with a concentration in culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention.
- At completion, graduate will be adept for practice as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) and prepared to activity address the evolving health needs of Fresno County, Fresno metropolitan areas and the Central San Joaquin Valley.
Our graduates work with 18 preceptor affiliate agencies and spend their time completing 35 weeks and 1,232 practice hours in acute care hospitals, clinics, sports nutrition, schools, governmental agencies (WIC, CalFresh, Veterans etc.), and a prison. They help provide nutrition education, meal planning, food budgeting, clinical interventions such as weight loss, quantity food production, food safety and improved overall health outcomes for many disease states.
Outcomes and Impact:
In May 2018, our program graduated its 200th dietetic intern. Nation-wide, in 2018, reports indicate that there are 102,408 practicing registered dietitian nutritionists. Almost ten percent of those practicing dietitians live in California, however there is a severe shortage of dietitians in the Central Valley. Our community is home to many chronic diseases and health disparities such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disorders, where dietitians are vital to the success of fighting those disparities. Our program over the last four years can report that 74% of our graduates maintain employment in the Fresno metropolitan area and/or Central San Joaquin Valley. When interns come to our program, they stay and find work with our local community.
Why we need your help:
Our program needs additional funding to support the individual project needs and send interns to our community sites well prepared and culturally competent. Our interns attend several training events, and are also walking along side our university professors and preceptors in research and applied knowledge. A current project our interns are working on with a local teaching hospital is to screen patients for malnutrition before having surgery and offering an intervention to see if post-surgical outcomes improve. They are learning innovative approached to providing Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to our community and we need your continued support to foster this transferable skills that could potentially empower change markers for the dietetics arena.