Carley Rusch, PhD, RDN, LDN

FAND Election Nominee Profile – 2024 Election

Name of the Candidate: Carley Rusch, PhD, RDN, LDN

Position: Chair of District Presidents

Employment History



Years Employed

Abbott Nutrition, Gainesville, FL

Medical Science Liaison


Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health, Gainesville, FL

Neurology Dietitian


Advent Health Orlando (formerly Florida Hospital), Orlando, FL

Clinical Dietitian


University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Research Coordinator



Leadership Experience

Leadership Position


Years Involved in the Organization

Advisory Board Member

Advent Health Dietetic Internship Program


President-Elect (2019), President (2020), and Past-President (2021)

Gainesville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics



Central Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly Orlando)



Answers to Challenge Questions

What strategies would you use to ensure that individual district initiatives are aligned with the greater FAND mission and vision?


As Chair of District Presidents, I would schedule timely engagement and touch points among local District Presidents (DPs) and the members they serve. This will include meetings with DPs to communicate and algin on FANDs strategic initiatives and attending local district events whenever possible (virtually or in-person). As former President of the Gainesville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (now transitioned to North Florida), I saw the importance of open communication and information sharing amongst others. Holding forum for DPs to share best practices, challenges and opportunities amongst each other will be vital to the continued success of our organization.


Describe your ideas for keeping members engaged locally as districts are merged into larger regional districts.

During my time as President of the Gainesville Academy from 2019-2020, I personally saw the impact of virtual engagement in the success of our local district. Like others, we experienced challenges with declining in person engagement before the pandemic. This has since improved once we transitioned to offering virtual meetings and now merged into the North Florida regional district in which we can reach broader membership. However, I do emphasize and encourage the importance of local, in person engagements within regional districts. This can be done through informal opportunities such as meet ups, luncheons, community volunteering, student membership programs, etc. In addition, local opportunities that were offered to me as a student were the catalyst for my continued engagement as a dietitian which lead into future leadership opportunities. Early engagement of students/interns should be critical to DPs across the state as this our chance to further provide value and grow next-generation leaders within our profession.