About the conference:

The Dietitians of Canada Annual Conference is held in a different Canadian city each year and is attended by 700-900 dietitians.



Jackie's Highlights:

The Dietitians of Canada (DC) Annual Conference was held in Quebec City last month. This was the first DC conference I attended as the Regional Executive Director for the Atlantic Provinces and I was impressed to see how well represented Dietitians from Nova Scotia were!


Seven Nova Scotia members hosted high quality learning sessions and had very good turnout and feedback. Also, five Nova Scotia members won DC awards! Very exciting!


The Kelly Anne Erdman’s Ryley Jeffs Memorial Lecture and the Celebrating PEN@10 session were both highlights for me.  I also really enjoyed Shelley Case’s session, Emerging Research on Gluten-Related Disorders. Shelley Case, a dietitian from Regina, Saskatchewan is an internationally renowned speaker and author on Celiac Disease.





Highlights from the 2015 Dietitians of Canada Annual Conference “Stronger Together” 

Provided by Jackie Spiers, MSc, P.Dt. Dietitians of Canada, Regional Executive Director for the Atlantic Provinces


Shelley’s session allowed me to review and update my knowledge of Celiac disease. It has been some time since I practiced as a clinical dietitian in the Division of Gastroenterology at the IWK and I had a lot of questions about gluten sensitivity, as this was not something that came up very often when I was practicing at the IWK.


Shelley did a thorough overview of Celiac disease explaining that it affects 1-2% of the population. In addition to reviewing the well know gastrointestinal side effects of Celiac disease, she discussed less common side effects such as neurological, musculoskeletal and dental effects.  She also reviewed the usual serologic screening tests and the necessity of a biopsy in addition to talking about genetic testing, something I was unfamiliar with. She then discussed Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity; a condition that may affect up to 6% of the population. She explained that the symptoms are similar to Celiac disease but that it was not an autoimmune reaction and that the reaction is often dose.


This session was a great overview and contained very practical information for dietitians working with patients who have celiac disease, non- celiac gluten sensitivity and other gluten- related disorders in children and adults.


For those who were not able to attend the 2015 conference, Shelley’s presentation, as well as many of the other presentations, are available for purchase as part of DC Learning on Demand series for both DC members and non-members. Visit the Learning on Demand section on the DC Website for more information. 


The conference gave me a chance to network and to gain professional development related to my NSDA continuing competency plan.


Planning is well underway for the 2016 DC Conference in Winnipeg and the 2017 DC Conference in the St. John’s Newfoundland.

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