Dietetics Rural and Indigenous Communities Placement Fund
Students in dietetics need your support with the costs of participating in practicum placements in rural and Indigenous communities.
Dietitians are an essential part of the healthcare system. Currently, UBC is the only institution in BC accredited to graduate students as Registered Dietitians. With the increasing need for dietitians across the province, it is important that our students learn to identify with the diverse communities that they serve.
On June 18, 2020, the UBC Dietetics Program released an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement. As part of the commitment to Indigenizing and decolonizing the dietetics program curriculum, the program has been restructured to include mandatory Practice Education Placements (practicums) in rural and/or Indigenous communities. These placements can have a profound impact on the students’ understanding of the healthcare delivery in these areas and help the students develop self-reflective skills needed to act with cultural safety and humility.
We are raising funds to establish the Dietetics Rural and Indigenous Communities Placement Fund to support students with the additional costs they face with practicum placements in rural and Indigenous communities.
Challenges and Impact of Your Support
While a career in dietetics is fulfilling, the years of education required can be financially daunting. Dietetics students are required to complete practicum placements as part of their education. These placements are full-time making it difficult for students to work. In addition to tuition fees, students face additional costs such as travel, housing, and food, when they have to relocate to practicum placements in rural and Indigenous communities. With your support, we can reduce this financial stress and ensure dietetics students have the resources to thrive and succeed. Providing financial support for dietitian trainees today will help build the health of our communities of tomorrow.
On-line donations of any amount will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt. Your donation will be part of a new pool of funds available to help dietetics students with their placement relocation costs. We would like to eventually have the Dietetics Rural and Indigenous Communities Placement Fund endowed– $50,000 is needed to establish an endowment in perpetuity generating spending support of ~$2,000 a year.
About the UBC Dietetics Program
Ilan Wright is a Registered Dietitian and 2019 UBC Dietetics alumni. Ilan is passionate about increasing diversity in the dietetics profession and creating an award to provide financial support for students in need through the UBC Dietetics Program.
Tamara Cohen is the Director of Dietetics and Assistant Professor in Food, Nutrition and Health at UBC. Since joining the faculty in January 2020, Tamara has been working on restructuring the Dietetics Program. She is committed to increasing diversity in the program and creating unique learning experiences for students. “Our goal is to diversify our student body with the aim to diversify our profession,” says Cohen. “Dietitians are the trusted source for nutrition-related issues and essential health professionals that work in diverse settings.”