On the threshold of a new school year…

Published by Jaclyn Pederson, MHI on Aug 25, 2023

Dear Friends of Feeding Matters,

If you are one of the many people embracing the return of routines, packing lunches, sports and activities, you’ve been on my mind. I am wishing you a smooth transition from lazy summer days to busy homework nights. At Feeding Matters, we are acutely aware that this time of year can bring a mix of excitement and apprehension.

Our recent consensus endeavor, a summit with leaders in the PFD and ARFID communities, also produced a mix of enthusiasm and anticipation, underscores what is core to our mission. We believe in the power of consensus and the value of uniting various perspectives to focus on what children need. Reflecting on our recent Consensus Summit in partnership with Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, I was reminded of the magic of collaboration. This gathering allowed Feeding Matters to dive into the challenges and solutions related to PFD and ARFID diagnoses. The collective effort of this group is propelling us toward a brighter future, and we intend to share these results with our wider community soon.

The lessons that we learned from this consensus serve as key principles that resonate within our team but that I also think might benefit us all:

  • Embracing core values: Where there is disagreement, values aren’t aligned. By bringing individuals to the table, united in their dedication to improve access to care for children and families, we found pathways to alignment.
  • Words matter: The meanings, intentions, and assumptions tied to words often vary.  As we work to provide clarity within our field, we always have to ensure that we are speaking a shared language.
  • Continuous learning: A shared commitment to always do better invites us to approach each day with open minds, ready to absorb insights from one another.
  • Challenging assumptions: Assumptions can easily take root regarding various fields, disciplines, and individuals. But only by actively questioning these assumptions can we begin to find common ground and forge meaningful connections.

While these principles have allowed us to learn and grow, they also extend to our full community.

As we stand on the threshold of a new schoolyear, we approach it with a shared commitment to collaboration and growth. Thank you for being an essential part of our community. Together, we can transform challenges into triumphs and nurture a more promising future for all children with PFD, their families, and the professionals who treat them.

In gratitude,

Jaclyn Pederson, MHI
CEO, Feeding Matters