Dietitians may be the most misunderstood profession among all health practitioners. As the result, the profession of dietetics is in crisis. Dietitians report that they are underemployed, underpaid, and even unemployed.
With so many “competitors” many whom are not qualified, giving people lots of different nutrition information, it’s no wonder the public is confused about what to eat.
In response to these concerns, Maree Ferguson, along with dietitians Joanna McMillan and Matt O’Neill promoted the Dietitians Unite crowdfunding movement to raise funds for a public relations campaign to help the public understand that dietitians are nutrition scientists who have evidence based advice to offer.
In order to bring the #dietitiansunite campaign to fruition, $60,000 was needed to be crowdfunded. The Starting on the 18th September with the idea that if one Australian dietitian contributed $20, then 3,000 dietitians could donate to reach the target. The target was reached on 17th October, with $62,019 in total from 1205 supporters.
Support came not only from dietitians, but from students and allied health professionals. Some of the comments from those who donated are:
“Good luck and I truly hope you are going make roads into the challenges the dietetic industry faces. I am a QUT 4th year student about to graduate and what to support and assistance with our future. Kind regards”
“This is a fantastic initiative – happy to support a fellow allied health profession help people make informed choices about their health.”
— Dietitian Connection (@DNconnection) October 17, 2016
Maree Ferguson said that she was thrilled that the #dietitiansunite crowdfunding campaign reached its target.
“First and foremost, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed. The response from the community of dietitians in Australia, New Zealand and even internationally has been overwhelming and we couldn’t have done it without your support” said Dr Ferguson.
“With the funds raised, we’re now ready to begin the next stage of #dietitiansunite. The campaign will provide a much needed voice for our profession, and change public opinion and perceptions around dietitians and the role they play, through a fun and engaging public relations and marketing campaign” said Dr Ferguson.
More articles on My Health Career:
- The benefits of volunteering for new grad dietitians – by Sally Marchini APD
- Media ramps it up from amplifying body fads to straight out misrepresentation of dietitians
- Dietitians recommend comfort foods this winter
- The non-diet approach to health for dietitians and health professionals