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Erin Schifferli


Erin Schifferli brings pediatric experience and nutrition expertise to the Fitness Forward organization. She began working with Fitness Forward alongside Jason, her brother, when it was still at the pilot stage in 2001. Erin is a visionary that fuels Fitness Forward with great determination. In her eyes, Fitness Forward is about helping children, by promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity as a fun and feasible commitment. Currently, she is a Nutrition Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension, in Western New York. She helps many children and adults by teaching them how to healthfully reconnect with food, experiment with cooking, plan meals, budget and shop accordingly, and fit tasty healthy nutrition into a hectic lifestyle without losing the flavor of life. She has developed many original resources to facilitate fundamental learning for children and adults regarding food and the essential nutrients it provides.

According to Erin, her philosophy about healthy eating began as a child, witha strong foundation provided by her mother, who always stressed the importance of balance in meals, and eating. As Erin as said "To eat well is to be well, and in a high maintenance world sometimes the basics of healthy nutrition and everyday physical activity get pushed aside and forgotten. It is for this reason, so many U.S. adults and children have become overweight or obese, which affects both their physical, emotional and mental health."

Presently, Erin is a Masters student at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. The program is an ADA accredited 5-year BS/MS in Science and Dietetics. The department of Dietetics at DYC has provided Erin with yearly Academic grants, and she has received a scholarship from the Hamburg Grange Center for written works. She was also selected for a research scholarship from the Allied Health Care and Management Institution, in which the nutrient values of children’s menus in the Buffalo area were examined, promoting more research by dietitians in this area to influence healthful reform in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Her thesis topic reflects interests in public health and pediatric nutrition by examining the influence of nutrition education on the consumptions of first grade elementary students who participate in the school lunch program.
Throughout her school experience, Erin has completed rotations as a clinical dietitian in several local sites including: Erie County Medical Center, Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Lakeshore Medical Center, Buffalo General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo Public Schools, and Heathwood at Elderwood Facility. These core rotations have provided her with experience in Medical Nutrition Therapy, Food Service Management, Community Nutrition, Pediatric Nutrition, Long Term Care, Acute Care, and Critical Care. Also, Erin had the enriching opportunity to attend the American Dietetic Association National conference in the Fall of 2002. During the summer as a third year dietetics student she was able to participate in an internship at Boston Medical Center where she practiced as an assistant clinical dietitian, and produced behavior modification materials for the pilot programs that are now Fitness Forward, and the Nutrition and Fitness for Life youth weight management program.

During the fourth year at DYC Erin was privileged enough to qualify for a Cross Cultural Spanish Seminar that included a ten day trip to Panama where they experienced first hand the public health issues of Panamanians living through out Panama. Thirteen students and their professor, Dr. Karmen spent the ten days exploring Panama, its culture, and its inhabitants. Erin has described many vivid experiences from the trip, from helping school children build gardens and teaching them how to farm, assisting a dentist in the three room medical center, and holding a mother's hand who was in labor with her second child – hours away from the nearest hospital that was needed to perform the cesarean section that she would need to deliver her distressed baby. All these experiences exposed Erin to a different way of life that was all very humbling and motivating.

Erin is a proud Mom of Owen, a six year old boy who she describes as "continuously motivating me to rekindle my childhood spirit." Owen is also an integral resource for Fitness Forward, serving as the first line of elementary school public opinion for many early-stage Fitness Forward tools. He brings his mom to his pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade classes to teach his classmates about the importance of fruits and vegetables, and how much fun it can be to experiment with the taste buds.

Some of Erin's personal interests and pleasures include hiking, biking, yoga, tennis, dancing, cooking, (collecting recipes) reading, traveling, and playing with her son. Through her very real experiences, personal goals, and drive, she has and will be a great asset in driving the organizational goals of Fitness Forward, particularly in schools. In her words "I want to be a mentor and motivator to America’s Youth who deserve to have every opportunity to enjoy a healthy lifestyle."



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