2020 Award Winners
Outstanding Member Award:
PNPG is proud to announce our 2020 Outstanding Member of the Year, Dr. Lori Bechard, PhD, MEd, RDN. Dr. Bechard is an accomplished leader of pediatric nutrition, having held a variety of pediatrics-related teaching positions at Boston Children's Hospital, Northeastern University, Harvard Medical School, Rutgers University, and Framingham State College, as well as working in clinical, research, and administrative capacities. She has 44 peer-reviewed publications and has a distinguished record of service to PNPG, holding positions such as Treasurer, Communications Chair, Editor of the Building Block for Life, Grants and Awards Chair, and Chair. Dr. Bechard’s work to improve the care of critically ill children on mechanical ventilation through her research related to the FITS study and protein-energy needs in this population has been invaluable to pediatric dietitians engaged in the care of these patients. Thank you, Lori, for all you have done for our profession and DPG; kudos to you!
Published Research Award:
Congratulations to Kristi Thaete, MS, RD, LD, CNSC for receiving the Published Research Award for her publication entitled “User-Informed Medical Device Development: A Case Study for Pediatric Malnutrition Assessment.” The study evaluated an innovative way to measure mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) by creating a MUAC z-score tape capable of measuring MUAC and estimating the z-score range of any child. This MUAC has become a standard of care at Kristi’s facility, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, and her award-winning publication will facilitate the adoption of this practice to other facilities. Kudos to Kristi and her co-authors for evaluating an evidence-based method to implement the consensus guidelines for classifying and documenting pediatric malnutrition!
Research Grant Award:
Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Garis Harshman, PhD, RD, LD, who was selected to receive the PNPG Research Grant Award for her project entitled, “The role of the microbiome in infant weight gain and risk of obesity.” Dr. Harshman will be investigating the relationship between the infant microbiome and rapid weight gain until 6 months of age using a longitudinal birth cohort of mother-infant dyads. This research will allow better understanding of the role of the microbiome in early life and the risk of overweight/obesity in childhood. Dr. Harshman is currently a Research Fellow at Massachusettes General Hospital and has 10 peer-reviewed publications. We congratulate Stephanie and look forward to seeing the results of her study!
Congratulations to Gale Nelson for her selection as the 2020 PNPG Pre-Professional Practice Scholarship recipient! Gale graduated with a BS in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University in May 2020, and she will begin the combined DI/Master’s program in Human Nutrition at Texas State University in 2020-21. Gale has had a variety of nutrition-related experiences, including working as a Summer Nutrition and Culinary Camp Coordinator and Fit 2 Lead Nutrition Camp Team Leader. After graduation, Gale intends on pursuing a career in clinical dietetics and becoming a board-certified specialist in pediatric nutrition. We congratulate Gale and wish her all the best in her graduate studies!
Recognized Neonatal RDN Award:
Congratulations to Dena L Goldberg, PhD, RD, our 2020 recipient of PNPG’s Recognized Neonatal RDN Award. Dr. Goldberg has had a long, illustrious career in pediatric nutrition but has focused her vast clinical skillset and talents on neonatal nutrition since 2004. She has 20 peer-reviewed publications, including “Identifying malnutrition in the preterm and neonatal population: Recommended indicators” which was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2018. Dr. Goldberg mentors dietetic interns and contributes to training pediatric residents and pharmacy students. She has served in a variety of leadership and volunteer service positions, including PNPG Advisor, Chair of the Neonatal Malnutrition Workgroup for PNPG, Co-Chair of PNPG’s Infant Nutrition, Breastfeeding and Neonatology Specialty Group, and serving as a mentor in the PNPG Mentoring Program. Congratulations Dena, and thank you for all of your dedication and service to neonatal and pediatric nutrition!
Past PNPG's Recipients of Grants and Awards