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A Message from the GMDI President

December 2020

Dear Fellow GMDI Members,

It is hard to believe that my tenure as GMDI President is almost up.  This is my fourth and final column for GMDI Connections Newsletter. The year 2020 has brought us many challenges that our generation has never experienced before. I hope that all of you, your families and your patients are weathering these challenges. 

I wanted to focus on thanking the many mentors and role models that  have been a part of my metabolic journey.  A mentor is someone who provides guidance, imparts knowledge and wisdom, is engaged and gives feedback with honesty and sincerity.  

The dietitians at CHOC Children’s Hospital that were an essential part of giving me an initial introduction to metabolism are Sue Freck, Michelle Maeda and Carol Murray. Each of these ladies mentored me at different times as they helped establish my introduction to metabolism.

Laurie Bernstein, my main mentor has been there for me since I began to work 100% in the metabolic clinic.  Many of you know Laurie for her inspiration stories at MU and her encouragement to be more than just a calculator.  She has given me many opportunities that have provided career growth including being a faculty member at MU.  The other MU faculty that have mentored me along the way are Fran Rohr, Dr. Sandy Van Calcar, Dr. Steven Yannicelli and Ulrike Reichert.

I also want to thank Dr. Barb Marriage for her guidance and wisdom.  She gave me my first opportunity to present at a Metabolic Conference,  the Abbott Meeting in 2011. Keiko Ueda was also kind enough to hold my hand getting me ready for the presentation.  Barb was the one who gave me the encouragement to take on the role of GMDI President.  Dr. Melanie Gillingham has been an inspiration to me and a great role model as I literally followed in her  footsteps. Shideh Modifi is someone else that I was lucky enough to partner with in her role as the Chair of the Education Committee. Nancy Callanan has also been a great sounding board for me during the presidency.

One of the areas that I have been so thankful to be a part of, is the Nutrition Guideline Project. Dr. Rani Singh, Fran Rohr and Dr. Sandy van Calcar have been amazing to work with and have helped me grow in my role as Co-Chair for the VLCAD Guidelines.

I also am very thankful for my California RD peeps and my co-workers at CHOC who have been incredible to collaborate with and hang out with at the conferences, along with the board members that I have worked with the last two years.

I want to encourage all of you to be as involved as you can with GMDI, as it will provide you with professional growth and you will develop great personal relationships.

Please stay well and I look forward to connecting with all of you in the future.. 


Mary Sowa
GMDI President



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