Kathleen Niedert, Ph.D., administrator of Parkview Manor Care Center, is recipient of this year's highest honor from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association).
Niedert, a registered dietitian and Academy member for 32 years, was presented the 2012 Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award at the opening session of the academy's national conference in Philadelphia.
The 73,000-member Academy recognized Niedert for her leadership as well as commitment to the profession and organization. The award is named for an early 20th-century pioneer in dietetics.
"My first reaction was wow, and then when I came down from the clouds I wondered if I were really that old," laughs Neidert. "The ride getting here has been everything anyone could have wanted, and I can truthfully say that I am as passionate about dietetics today as I was the day I graduated from Iowa State in 1973."
In her acceptance remarks, Niedert attributed her success to many people who had influenced her through the years: her parents, husband, son, close friends, academy members, and boss Kris Hansen, CEO of Western Home Communities in Cedar Falls, which manages Parkview Manor and where Niedert previously served several years as dietitian and director of dining services.
Niedert also thanked the college students in attendance who are planning careers in nutrition and dietetics. She shared three simple rules for life that her parents taught her. "If you don't go after what you want, you will never have it; if you don't ask, the answer will always be no; and if you don't step forward, you will always be in the same place," Niedert said, as she encouraged the students to dream big and think of the day when one of them would be on the stage receiving an award.
Niedert is a widely published author and served as editor of the academy's Nutrition Care of the Older Adult (2004). She is a past president of the Iowa Dietetic Association and Mid-East District Dietetic Association, and former chair of the academy's Dietetics in Health Care Communities dietetic practice group.
Niedert received the academy's 2009 medallion Award for service to the organization and the dietetics profession, the 2001 Award of Excellence in Consultation and Business Practice, and the 2000 Service Award. She was Iowa's Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in 1992.
Niedert graduated from Iowa State University and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Northern Iowa. She earned a PhD in health care administration from Warren National University for her research on the use of liberalized diets in long-term care settings.