RDN Training


Four federally funded nutrition traineeships offering interdisciplinary leadership training with an emphasis on nutrition are available to advanced Nutritional Sciences graduate students. Students from the MPH, MS, or PhD programs who are registered dietitians or are in the second year of the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics are eligible to apply.

Trainees receive a monthly stipend (typically for nine months) provided by funds from the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Care Resources Administration.

UW LEAH Program

The MCHB Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program is devoted to the health and well-being of adolescents in the United States through education, research, program and service model development, evaluation, and dissemination of best practices. LEAH prepares professionals from a variety of health care disciplines to be leaders in clinical care, research, public health policy, and advocacy as it relates to adolescent health.

Contact: Casey McCoy MPH, RDN, CD

UW LEND Program

The Leadership Education for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) program at the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) at the University of Washington (UW) provides long-term, graduate level interdisciplinary training as well as interdisciplinary services and care using a family-centered approach. The purpose of the LEND training program is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities. The following objectives are emphasized:

  • advance the knowledge and skills of all child health professionals to improve health care delivery systems for children with developmental disabilities;
  • provide high-quality interdisciplinary education that emphasizes the integration of services from state and local agencies and organizations, private providers, and communities;
  • provide health professionals with skills that foster community-based partnerships; and
  • promote innovative practices to enhance cultural competency, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary partnerships.

At the University of Washington LEND traineeships are available for RDs (preference given to those with master’s degrees), UW Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetic interns, and dietetic interns from a master’s degree program in nutrition.

Contact and more details: Visit the LEND website

Pediatric Pulmonary Center

The Pediatric Pulmonary Center at the University of Washington and Children’s Hospital and Medical Center offers public health leadership training with an interdisciplinary approach that includes health professionals from medicine, nursing, social work, and nutrition. The center’s focus is on training about systems of care for pediatric pulmonary diseases as a model of meeting needs of children with special health care needs and their families. Former nutrition trainees have completed research in the areas of asthma; obesity, growth of low birthweight infants with chronic lung disease after discharge, and growth of infants and children who require home ventilatory support.

Contact:  Mari Obara, MS, RD, CD

Western MCH Nutrition Partners

One traineeship is provided each year by Western MCH Nutrition Partners to prepare the trainee for leadership roles in nutrition education, service, research, policy and advocacy for mothers, families, children and youth. This traineeship is offered by a collaboration of western universities that includes UCLA, USC, Oregon Health and Sciences University and Colorado State University. Trainees complete a leadership project and interact with leaders in MCH public health nutrition from the western states.

Contact: Cristen Harris, PhD, RDN