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Public Health Dietitian - Mandy Burbank

Public Health Dietitian - Mandy Burbank

Mandy Burbank

Name: Mandy Burbank

Job Title: RD, LRD, Public Health Dietitian

Where do you work? Grand Forks Public Health


What do you do on typical day of work?

What we do in public health often depends on the source of funding that you work from. I was hired to work under a federal grant that works specifically with the maternal and child population. I am fortunate that my supervisors let me pick projects and topics that I am passionate about:  breastfeeding promotion, child nutrition, and policy development. One day I might be working to help a business develop a policy to support their breastfeeding employees and another day I might be screening Head Start kids or talking to a mom about what/how to feed her one-year old. I was also hired to manage/coordinate the Grand Forks City and County Employee Wellness Program. I offer different opportunities throughout the year for employees to become healthier or maintain their health. This part of my job includes managing the budget, setting up the wellness activities, ordering supplies and answering employees’ health questions.

What are the working conditions like?

The working conditions are great. The most stressful part of the job is being able to manage many different projects at one time – being organized is a must. The coworkers that I work with every day are extremely supportive and encouraging. The schedule is flexible – a typical day is 8 am – 5 pm. I do work some evenings and weekends, but that all depends on the grants that I am working under.


What education requirements, college degrees, licenses are needed for your career?

A Four-year bachelor’s degree and being a Licensed Registered Dietitian is required.


What are the most and least rewarding parts of your job?

I love my job! The best part is when a project or a grant I am working on is successful or meets a goal. I started a worksite farmer’s market (fresh produce only) for all the county/city employees. Each year, more and more people attend. That is so rewarding to know that all of those people went home with fresh produce instead of fast food! The best part about working with moms, babies, and children is that if they adopt one healthy habit from the information we talk about, the closer they are toward living a healthier life.

The most challenging part of my job is waiting for others to move toward change. When I get an idea for a project, I want to run with it. I want everyone to “love” it as much as I do. It is hard for me to understand that not everyone sees that eating healthier or moving more will help them feel better.


What do you wish you knew (but didn’t) when you first contemplated this career?

I did not know how much my knowledge in nutrition would help me be a better mom.


What is one piece of advice you would give to undergraduate dietetics/nutrition students?

Ask to job shadow a professional that works in the area you have an interest. That way, you can see what that job looks like and you will see if it is the right fit for you.


Why are you an NDNC member?

I love NDNC. Everyone is down to earth, welcoming, and encouraging. I got my current job through networking at an NDNC conference. Being part of the NDNC board is one of the best decisions that I have made in my career. These women are smart and have a sense of humor; they encourage me, they guide me, and they have helped me to be a better dietitian.





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