Healthy Aging Leadership

2024 - 2025 Executive Committee

Kim Duhon, MS, RD, LDN

Kim Duhon, MS, RDN, LDN works with older adults to help them live with dignity in their community with PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) in Lafayette, LA. She graduated with her Bachelor’s from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and obtained her Master’s from Louisiana Tech University. She has worked in food service management and clinical nutrition. She is an active member with the local (ANDA) and state (LAND) affiliations.

Jacob Mey, PhD, RD

Jake is an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He runs the Mitochondrial Energetics and Nutrient Utilization (MENU) Lab, where he uses clinical-translational research approaches to understand how diet (our “MENU”) affects the way cells use energy and how that, in turn, impacts human health and disease. His driving passion is to elevate the dietetic profession and to expand the reach of evidence-based nutrition information to the public.

Emily Schilling, RD, LDN, CDCES

Emily is the Nutrition Manager for Upham’s PACE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly in Boston. Emily has spent over a decade working with older adults in nursing homes and community settings. Additionally, Emily works as a diabetes educator through various virtual platforms. Professional interests include therapeutic cooking, innovations in diabetes care, and equitable food access. 

Emily Schilling, RD, LDN, CDCES

Shaynee Roper, DCN, MEd, RD, LD, FAND

Shaynee works in Home Health/Hospice part-time, and am the Director of the Nutrition Clinic and full time Professor at North Carolina Central University

Aaron Smith, PhD, RD

Aaron Smith, PhD, RD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. Aaron's research interests lie at the intersection of skeletal muscle, nutrition, and cognition. Specifically, his research investigates the effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation on skeletal muscle function and cognition in individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Maureen Janowski, RDN, CSG, LDN, FAND

Maureen Janowski is the Corporate Director, Malnutrition Program with Morrison Healthcare.  Prior to her recent position change she had spent over 20 years working exclusively with older adults in the CCRC and Skilled Care environment.  Maureen has a passion for nutrition and wellness for older adults. She played a key role in the development of EmpowerU, a Morrison resident focused wellness initiative. Maureen has published articles as well as presented at many professional conferences on the topic of Nutrition and Wellness for Older Adults.
Maureen is a Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition and also a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Communications Director
Sofia Sanchez, PhD, MBA, RD

Sofia Sanchez, PhD, MBA, RD is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Kinesiology at the Indiana University School of Public Health. She was previously a Community Health Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System SNAP-Ed at Auburn University, a USDA-funded program that offers nutrition education and policy, systems, and environmental changes for SNAP-eligible communities. In her spare time she enjoys coffee and hiking.

Sponsorship Director
Rikki Rabbin, MS, RDN, LDN

Rikki Rabbin, MS, RDN, LDN works with at a PACE program, helping senior citizens stay in their own homes and remain independent through end of life. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s combined master's and dietetic internship in 2016. Professional interests include food safety, labeling, and the intersection of business and food.

Membership Director
Mary Ellen Camire, PhD, CFS

Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., CFS has been a faculty member in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Maine since 1989. Her doctoral training in Nutrition and Food Sciences was completed at Texas Woman's University. Mary Ellen teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on nutrition and aging and conducts research on food insecurity among older adults and food technologies to improve food acceptance, especially among persons with dysphagia.

Professional Development Director
Lexie Jacobs, MS, RD, LDN

Lexie lives in Lutherville-Timonium, MD and works at Autumn Lake Healthcare. She has spent the past four years working with older adults in the skilled nursing home/long-term care setting. Additionally, Lexie works as a bariatric dietitian with GIBNC. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from McDaniel College and her Masters of Science from Texas Tech University. When Lexie isn't working, she enjoys swimming, reading, playing with her cat (Winston), and spending time with family and friends.

Nominating Committee Chair
Gila Singer, MS, RD, CSG, CDN, FAND

Gila completed her nutrition and dietetics training at Morgan State University and recently pursued her Masters Degree in Applied Nutrition at Lamar University. She currently works as a Program Manager in Consumer Experience for Ascension. She previously worked as a Nutrition and Dietetics Manager, and has experience across care settings. Professional interests include patient experience, malnutrition and age friendly health systems. Gila is a Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Nominating Committee Chair-Elect
Victoria Opalka, MS, RDN, CSG, CDN

Long-term care dietitian since August 2020 providing nutrition services for older adults and their care-partners. Victoria completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science, the Dietetic Internship Program and a Master of Science in Applied Nutrition all at Russell Sage College. Victoria is a Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition and an Adjunct Professor at Russell Sage teaching graduate-level Sports Nutrition. Victoria plans to enroll in a DCN program within the next three years.

Policy and Advocacy Leader
Katherine Bechdol, MS, RDN, CSG, LD

Kat (she/they) is the Senior Manager, Area Clinical Support for Sodexo in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions. She completed the coordinated program at Georgia State university in 2019 and has worked in PA/LTC ever since. Dietetics is Kat's second career after working as an environmental consultant. Professional interests include improving the life and dignity of those living in LTC communities, advocating for the dietetics community, and helping families understand the aging process.

Newsletter Editor in Chief
Kellie Kirschbaum, MS, RDN, LDN

Kellie Kirschbaum is a traveling clinicial Dietitian at Sodexo. Her previous experiences include menu planning, project management, and menu development in Long-Term Care Facilities.