Celebrating Diversity and Dedication: Congratulating Heluna Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (PHFE WIC) 2023 Dietetic Internship Graduates

WIC Dietetic Intern Graduation

On Monday, February 26, 2024, Heluna Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (PHFE WIC) program proudly celebrated the graduation of eight exceptional interns who have completed a rigorous internship, poised to step into their roles as Registered Dietitians upon successful completion of their credentialing examination. Among family, friends, members of the WIC staff and dedicated preceptors, PHFE WIC Executive Director Kiran Saluja and internship director Beth Cordova presented certificates to these bright individuals, accompanied by heartfelt wishes for success as they embark on their journey towards licensure.

This cohort of interns, the 29th since 1996, completed the demanding program, which typically lasts one year, in just eight months, driven by changes in requirements scheduled to go into effect in March. Ashley, Brandon, David, Devon, Gricelda, Jazmin, Shontel, and Cindy navigated a diverse array of experiences. They collaborated with educational institutions across Los Angeles, along with the Dairy Council, Heluna Health’s Breastfeeding and Nutrition Services program CinnaMoms, LA Metropolitan Hospital, and the LA Galaxy Soccer Club. Their participation in the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference and their volunteer efforts with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank underscored their commitment to both professional development and community service. With varied racial, ethnic, and other backgrounds, they exemplify the importance of diversity in the field of dietetics.

WIC Executive Director Kiran Saluja congratulates 2023 class of dietetic interns.
WIC Executive Director Kiran Saluja congratulates 2023 class of dietetic interns.

Reflecting on the significance of this diverse cohort, Saluja remarked, “As you look at these young men and women, you see the obvious diversity that we are bringing into the profession. The [field of dietetics] is a very white profession. Whether you work in a hospital or whether you work in public health, the reality is that our population in this country is incredibly diverse. Isn’t it amazing to have a dietitian who can speak your language? Or recommend a special diet for diabetes? That’s what we do.”

Heluna Health extends heartfelt congratulations to the 2023 Dietetic Internship class and offers best wishes as they prepare for their licensure exams and transition into the field. The graduates had an average tenure of four years at WIC prior to enrolling in this challenging program, and Heluna Health earnestly hopes to welcome these talented individuals back as the next generation of leaders, ready to make a lasting impact in nutrition and beyond.