Spotlight on: Kate Comeau, MSc, PDt, APR
National Lead Strategic Communications and Media Relations, Dietitians of Canada
Kate Comeau is a dietitian and public relations professional living in Halifax. Kate has worked virtually for Dietitians of Canada since 2013 and feels fortunate to work for a National organization from her hometown. In her current role, Kate supports Dietitians of Canada to grow and maintain strong relationships with members, the media and the public. She works hard every day to help Canadians understand who dietitians are, what they do and why they matter. Kate loves connecting with dietitians and student members who are passionate about sharing their voice in the media and on social media. She has trained and supported dietitians from coast to coast to share evidence-based nutrition information with the media and as a spokesperson for DC, she has given hundreds of media interviews on television, radio and in print. Prior to working with DC, Kate was the director of a private nutrition clinic in the Montreal area. In addition to being a dietitian, Kate is also a dedicated member of the Canadian Public Relations Society and serves on the CPRS-NS Board of Directors.
Kate was proud to achieve her Accredited in Public Relations (APR)® designation in 2019, a measure of professional experience and competence in the field of public relations. She also received an MSc in Human Nutritional Sciences from McGill University, studying the effects of different doses of Vitamin D supplementation on newborn infants and holds a BScH in Nutrition and Dietetics from Acadia University.
Who are your heroes in real life?
The health care professionals and communicators on the front lines of the COVID-19 response are high on my list of real-life heroes. I would like to acknowledge all of the dietitians who have put in long hours planning for contingencies and ensuring patients are safe and well cared for as well as those who have upskilled or have been redeployed. I’d also like to acknowledge those whose jobs or businesses have been impacted during COVID-19. This has been a difficult year for many in the profession.
What do you love most about your job?
I am lucky in my job that I get to speak to dietitians and students across the country and hear about their concerns as well as their aspirations for the profession. I bring these diverse ideas together into a clear vision so that Canadians know who we are as dietitians and why we matter. This vision is fluid and needs constant input and feedback. For example, the theme for Nutrition Month 2021 (Good for you! Dietitians help you find your healthy) came from many conversations, brainstorming sessions, and research that underscored the supportive relationship between dietitians and their patients, clients and communities. Dietitians wanted Canadians to know that healthy eating looks different for everyone and that we take many factors into consideration when supporting a client, including their preferences, health and nutritional needs as well as their food traditions and culture. I’m looking forward to sharing the stories of dietitians working in diverse roles as well as the many variations of what “healthy” looks like during Nutrition Month 2021. You can learn more and get involved at www.nutritionmonth2021.ca – resources coming soon.
What is one tip you could share with future/current dietitians?
Keep your eyes on the future and be ready to adapt. Too often, we become mired in current challenges, or even stuck in past instead of anticipating the future and seeking opportunities. I strive to keep learning, looking outside our field for insights and staying curious about what is possible. That said, I frequently look backwards to remind myself of the bravery, tenacity and innovative spirit of dietitians over the last hundred years. The work of Dr. Jennifer Brady and others to preserve the history of the woman (and men) who advanced our profession to where it is today is critical and a source of great inspiration.