Justine Horne, MSc, RD, PhD student
JUSTINE THE RD & ASSOCIATES
for something nutrishus
As a fellow dietitian advocate, Justine was happy to share her unique experiences in the series. She works in a variety of area, as we've seen many dietitians do. As someone that has offered Nutrigenomix testing to past clients, it is interesting for me to hear about the PhD work Justine is doing and I look forward to seeing the future of that area. It's also no surprise that she's a lifelong learner, something very important in a science-based industry.
Why did you become a RD?
I’ve always been interested in nutrition and I remember learning about what dietitians do in Grade 6. I thought it was so cool that there was a job where you get to learn, and teach people about nutrition – I still think it’s really cool! My original interest in nutrition probably stemmed from my involvement in competitive sports as a child, which continued into my adult years. I now recognize a wider variety of reasons as to why nutrition is so important.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I have a variety of nutrition-related interests so I work in a few different areas including: private practice at Justine the RD and Associates, community nutrition at The East Elgin Family Health Team, education at Brescia University College, research at Western University and research/education at Nutrigenomix Inc.
How would you explain what you do?
I own an online nutrition consulting business, Justine the RD and Associates, where we mainly provide personalized nutrition recommendations to clients via secure online video chat, but also do other nutrition-related tasks such as group presentations when requested. I also work at the East Elgin Family Health Team where I lead group programs for the community aimed to optimize health and well-being. At Western University I am a lecturer for a clinical nutrition course at Brescia University College and am also a PhD candidate in Health and Aging. I’ve done a lot of consulting work for a company, Nutrigenomix Inc, which provides personalized DNA-based dietary advice to consumers exclusively through healthcare professionals.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
My work life usually consists of a variety of daily/weekly tasks including:
- Liaising with the associate RDs I work with at Justine the RD and Associates to ensure we are providing the best nutrition plans for our clients
- Conducting my research (The Nutrigenomics, Overweight/Obesity and Weight Management Trial) which consists of several tasks including: providing education to clients about weight management, explaining the results of genetic reports, assessing body composition and dietary intake, and analyzing the study’s results
- Planning, delivering, and evaluating health and wellness programs at The East Elgin Family Health Team
- Teaching healthcare providers and university students about the science and clinical application of nutrigenomics
- Attending PhD-level university courses and completing course work
- Keeping up on the latest and greatest scientific advancements in nutrition!
What has been your career path?
I started my career in diabetes education at a community health centre in Kitchener. I then began working for Nutrigenomix Inc, started my private practice and started lecturing at Brescia University College. Recognizing my passion for research and education, I decided to enroll in a PhD program and ended up accepting a job at a family health team where I am currently conducting my research (“The NOW Trial”). I hope that this experience will one day lead me to obtain a tenure-tracked professor position at a prestigious university.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I love learning and am a self-proclaimed research geek, so naturally I’ve been in school forever. I have a Bachelor of Science degree, Certificate in Practical French, Master of Science degree, and am currently in the process of completing my PhD. I currently have 400 hours towards my Certified Diabetes Education designation and aim to have the letters “CDE” behind my name one day soon.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
My greatest hope for the next 5 years relates to genetic testing. I think this will become common practice for registered dietitians, where the vast majority of clinical RDs will be using this technology to provide personalized nutrition to their clients. In an ideal world, this testing will be covered by insurance companies as insurance companies will begin to realize the value of providing personalized nutrition information based on an individual’s genetics to optimize health outcomes. I also think we are going to start to see more public awareness about what RDs do!
What is your favourite meal?
I absolutely LOVE enchiladas. I’ve been known to throw a tasty enchilada fiesta on the occasional Friday night.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am passionate about providing innovative and personalized nutrition services, and am passionate about completing research in order to advance our knowledge about how to improve health outcomes - especially those pertaining to weight management.
More about Justine:
Clinical Trial Registration (The Nutrigenomics, Overweight/Obesity and Weight Management Trial)