The CLEVELAND DIETETIC ASSOCIATION is dedicated to raising the professional standards of Cleveland-area dietitians, and educating the public on healthier eating habits. Lula Graves, supervisor of dietians at Lakeside Hospital, formed the Association in 1915. Its initial purpose was to promote the employment of trained dietitians in area hospitals. Early members also included home-economics teachers and restaurant managers. The CDA developed slowly until 1923, when E. M. Geraghty assumed the presidency. Under Geraghty, membership was limited to hospital dietitians. The emphasis on training increased when in 1927 the first internship program, "School of Dietetics," was introduced at Lakeside Hospital. Members gained experience in diet kitchen, diabetic clinic, and administration problems. In 1934 the association adopted the rules of the Ohio Dietetic Association constitution, reopening membership to all dietitians and setting regulations for officers, elections, committees, dues, and meeting requirements. Throughout the 1940s, publicity and recruitment programs were begun, reaching to the high school level. In 1949 the Association presented a panel discussion on diabetic management; its success established a close working partnership with the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland. During the 1950s the association continued to increase its activities through participation in CIVIL DEFENSE. Disaster feeding programs, such as Disaster Relief, Emergency Food Shelf, and Water Purification were designed to feed victims of a natural disaster or wartime attack.

In the 1960s the CDA increased its effort to educate the public on matters of nutrition. Listings and descriptions of nutrition books were made available to the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY. In 1964 the Dial-a-Dietitian Committee was formed. Based on similar programs in other cities, the program offered professional answers over the phone to questions about nutrition, food preparation, medical diets, etc. Because of its overwhelming success, the CDA decided to reduce other aspects of its publicity campaign. In 1967 the Association held its Tenth Annual Food Fair for the exchanging of institutional recipes. During the 1970s the CDA expanded its awards and scholarships program, and with the annual designation of Nutrition Week by the mayor of Cleveland (later replaced by National Nutrition Month, held each March), it continued to work on the promotion of healthier eating habits among Clevelanders. Each year during National Nutrition Week, dietitians and university lecturers are scheduled to speak on such topics as diet therapy, nutrition, and health, and tours are given of health facilities in the Cleveland area. In 2005 the Association had 300 members. It continued to operate a nutrition hotline as well as providing a variety of community education programs.

Cleveland Dietetic Assn. Records, WRHS.

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