Heidi Kiehl, MS, RDN, CNSC moved to Round Rock from Santa Clara, California in June. In California, she
served as the State Policy Representative on the CA Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (CAND) Public Policy
Panel for a total of 8 years; it was a position she accepted first in 2005, and returned to in 2012 due to her desire to lead legislative efforts to increase the visibility of and opportunities for California RD/RDNs and
DTR/NDTRs. She steered the coordinating team for California’s Public Policy Workshop as part of her SPR
responsibilities, and mentored her district members on grassroots advocacy for many years.
Heidi’s passion for public policy stems from and is fueled by great role models who have imparted a wisdom
that professional leadership relies on a combination of competence and action. She believes that nutrition and
dietetics professionals demonstrate competence through evidence-based practice, and action takes the form of
basic participation and advocacy. As a newcomer to the Austin area and to the TX Academy, she is eager to
volunteer time, energy, and heart to the pursuit of legislative priorities.
Outside of her volunteer roles in the CA Academy, Heidi worked as the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Santa
Clara Valley Medical Center and as part-time faculty at San Jose State University. At SCVMC, she managed a
diverse clinical team of 22 inpatient/outpatient dietitians, 3 DTRs, and 8 diet office staff, and oversaw the
clinical/MNT and community nutrition rotations of 4 dietetic interns per year.
In her clinical role, Heidi is an advanced-level practitioner who enjoys interacting on a daily basis with medical,
nursing, and allied health professionals to showcase the knowledge and skills of dietitians and ensure that
nutrition is integrated into patient care services whenever possible. She is committed to evidence-based practice
and use of practice standards to ensure that sound science is the framework for the medical nutrition therapy
performed by her team. With this aim, she seeks ways to bring elements of research into the clinical practice
setting and focuses on quality outcomes – hoping to raise the bar in our profession and ultimately gain more
recognition by healthcare decision-makers.
As an educator, Heidi embraces the “pay-it-forward” philosophy. She appreciates opportunities to broaden her
knowledge and then find ways to share/teach/collaborate/or present to her colleagues, to students, and/or to the
broader community, believing that this is a professional responsibility. She also genuinely values her ability to
mentor and train future dietitians. She has been a dietetic intern preceptor since 1995, she provides numerous
volunteer opportunities for dietetics students, and she has facilitated graduate students’ research studies in the
clinical setting. In all of these, she imparts her love of the profession, the science-basis of clinical nutrition, and the necessity of advocacy to move the profession to the next level.