U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
NUTRITION AND FOOD SERVICES
Anne Utech, PhD, RDN, has dedicated 20 years to serving Veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As the national director of Nutrition and Food Services (NFS), she oversees strategic planning, policies, and programs.
VA Nutrition and Food Services (NFS) has a mission to develop and provide comprehensive nutrition services for Veterans and across VA’s integrated health care system of 172 medical centers and 1113 outpatient sites of care. This includes patient food operations serving more than 30 million meals per year to inpatient Veterans in VA medical centers and community living centers, as well as all the clinical nutrition care.
NFS employs approximately 10,000 federal staff, including 2200 dietitians and 200 diet technicians. These nutrition professionals promote wellness and disease prevention by ensuring effective nutrition education, counseling, medical nutrition therapy and food operations. The nutrition team proactively contributes to multiple VA initiatives including TeleNutrition, which has tripled in virtual visits since 2021. They reach Veterans when and where they want to be seen, or through their 124 Healthy Teaching Kitchens giving Veterans hands-on or demonstration experiences to teach healthful and delicious food preparation. In fiscal year 2022, dietitians in the VA completed 1.4M visits with Veterans.
Dr. Utech is responsible for executive leadership and direction to these nutrition programs and initiatives, including establishing system-wide policies, VA delivery of services and reducing disparities in Veteran nutrition access. She also provides servant leadership to the VA Nutrition Field Advisory Board, comprised of VA nutrition professionals in the field, and thus keeping nutrition solutions and innovations closest to the Veteran and to the experts in the field.
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
DR. ANNE UTECH