Connie Anastasio-Atkinson spent most of her life in the United States as a practicing Registered Dietitian who achieved considerable renown in her profession as a speaker, lecturer, researcher, educator, and writer. She received her education both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Connie in the U.S. and U.K.
In 1982, Connie was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Foods and Nutrition from Douglass College at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey in the USA. She went on to complete her Dietetic Internship at Raritan Bay Medical Center in the USA which enabled her to become a Registered Dietitian through the American Dietetic Association in 1982. In 1991, she passed her exams to become a Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian with The American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Connie was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition in Physical Activity from The Royal London Hospital Medical College, University of London at Whitechapel, London, England, in 1996. Her research thesis on the knowledge, attitudes, practices, and body composition of elite athletes in training received a distinction from her sponsoring professors.
Connie’s career in nutrition and dietetics has spanned a large area of interests and experiences throughout the healthcare spectrum in the US. She spent much of her time honing her skills in critical care nutrition and was privileged to work with both adult and paediatric hospitalized patients. She also has a special interest in paediatric nutrition and eating disorders.
Her last positions in the USA, before leaving to come to New Zealand, were managerial in nature. Connie’s last position, in 2006, was as Regional Manager of the New England/New York Region for the largest homecare organization in the country, Apria Healthcare, Norwood, Massachusetts, USA. She was responsible for strategic planning and marketing of nutrition services; planning and implementation of innovative nutrition programs; composition, revision, and presentation of lectures, educational materials to patients, healthcare teams, and the public; the guidance, training, and support of territory account managers in marketing nutrition services; and to ensure all clinical programs, products, and customer service met with the highest standards of patient and customer care. Connie’s team of one hundred account representatives made above goal in every quarter of her employment and made significant advances in the efficient and prompt provision of patient care.
Connie is a published author whose publications include magazine, newspaper and online commentary on the subjects of nutrition and health. She was an invited author of a textbook chapter on paediatric nutrition support published in 2007.
Recently, she has added a new focus that includes current issues of peace, faith and the War on Terror. Her latest novel was published at the end of 2013. The novel, and a bibliography of recent publications, are summarized on the website:
Recent publication in the US Congressional RollCAll (Mike Tyson and the War on Terror)
For customer reviews on “The Brotherhood of Purity”, see Amazon.
Connie in New Zealand
Connie met her husband, Roger Atkinson, in 2006 on Mount Carmel at the Baha’i Shrines in Haifa, Israel. They were married in early 2008 and Connie moved to Whangarei to help support her husband with the development of his orchard. Connie set about investing her time and money into learning and developing the orchard, DiCarlo-Atkinson Trust at Puketona, Northland, which is now jointly co-owned by the two.
By the middle of 2009 the couple had planted 2400 naval orange trees together. Connie learned a great deal about cultivation, biological farming, marketing, and the politics of agriculture in New Zealand from her husband and many other growers in the Kerikeri area. She continues to learn as much as she can about agriculture and the Northland farming community.
Roger and Connie are avid supporters of the Whangarei Grower’s Market and participate there each year at harvest time. They are so proud of the hard work and effort the local farming community has made to make it such a diverse, affordable, inviting, and healthful option for the local Whangarei community and hope to continue to support the market for years to come.
Connie and Roger are currently engaged in helping develop a farming-collective in the Kerikeri area to share agricultural information and news with our fellow-growers and to build community through sharing our knowledge and production with each other.
In August of 2010, Connie joined the staff of the Healthy Lifestyles Team, part of Public and Population Health of Northland District Health Board, located in Whangarei. She acted as the interim Nutrition and Physical Activity Coordinator for Northland until May of 2011. Her responsibilities included the planning and implementation of public health initiatives directed at improving the nutritional status and decreasing the incidence of chronic diseases associated with poor nutrition choices in the population of Northland, improving health inequities experienced by Maori in Northland as compared with the European population through public health initiatives and advocacy, and developing health promotion initiatives directed at populations within Northland using print media, social networking systems, radio, television, and billboards to improve healthy nutrition and physical activity choices within Northland. Her major accomplishment during this time was to train the staff of Manaia PHO in Kaitaia on behaviour change and how to set up and run diabetes education support groups for their patient population. She developed a training manual for the team to use to train future staff members. Connie believes the skills obtained while working at this interim position will assist her in the goals set for her latest endeavor with the Peter Bruce Research Group.
Connie is so excited to join the research team at Peter Bruce. She whole-heartedly believes in the organizational goals of the company which, essentially, exist to improve the health, well-being, and prosperity of the Whangarei community: the companies that serve the population here, the farmers that grow the food that feed its people and, most importantly, every resident of the wider community. Connie is anxious to learn and grow with the Whangarei community in its efforts toward Community Building and feels very blessed to have this as her work.
Brief CV of Health Publications and Presentations:
2008: Invited Review: Anastasio, C. “Issues in Complementary Feeding,”
Nutrition in Clinical Practice. Vol.23, No.3: 347-348.
2007: Primary Publication: “Home Enteral Nutrition in the Pediatric Patient”
IN: Handbook of Home Nutrition Support, Eds., Carol Ireton-Jones, PhD,
RD, and Mark DeLegge, MD. Jones and Bartlett, Massachusetts, USA.
2007: Invited Speaker: “Nutritional Care of the Patient with Cancer.”
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Annual
Cinical Nutrition Week. Phoenix, Arizona.
2007: Invited Speaker: Georgia State Dietetics Association, “Management of the
Complicated Enterocutaneous Fistula”, Savannah, Georgia.
2006: Invited Speaker: “Management of the Complicated Enterocutaneous
Fistula” American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition(ASPEN)
Annual Clinical Nutrition Week, Dallas, Texas.
Abstract and Poster: Anastasio, C. “Case Report: Successful Outcome of
Pregnancy Complicated by Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome Using
Parenteral Nutrition Support at Home” Nutr in Clin Prac, 2006 (4).
Winner: Best Nationwide Case Study – Coram Healthcare
Anastasio, C. “Case Report: Successful Outcome of
Pregnancy Complicated by Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome Using
Parenteral Nutrition Support at Home”
2005: Invited Review: Anastasio, C. “Your Child’s Weight: Helping without
Harming, Birth to Adolescence”, Nutrition in Clinical Practice. 2005, Vol 20, No.
2004: ASPEN Annual Clinical Nutrition Week:
Abstract and Poster Session: “Time and Cost Savings Incurred by Creation of a
Dietetic Technician Position within a National Home Infusion Company
Servicing Patients on Home Nutrition Support”
1994-6: Research Papers/Lectures :
“Nutrition at High Altitude”
“Sodium and Fluid Requirements During Endurance Sports”
“Fit or Fat: One Problem or Two”
“Recruitment of Muscle Fiber Types During Physical Activity”
“The Use of Coenzyme Q10 as an Ergogenic Aide”
1996: Research Thesis in Requirement of MSc in Nutrition and Physical Activity:
“The Nutrition Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Body Composition of
Adolescent Athletes at an English Secondary School”
The London Hospital Medical College, University of London, UK.
Author / Presenter – CNN’s “On the Menu” nutrition news program and marketed to the public through Turner Broadcasting.
Author / Presenter – “Healthy Heart” series for WERA radio in Plainfield, New Jersey.
2006 – 2008: Board of Directors, Dietetic Internship
New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York