Destrehan woman tapped for state board

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

By Kimberly Hopson

LAPLACE – Gov. Bobby Jindal recently appointed Martina Musmeci Salles of Destrehan to the Louisiana State Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition.
The Louisiana State Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition serves to regulate the practice of dietitians and nutritionists by granting licenses to qualified applicants. The Destrehan resident will serve as a licensed dietitian and nutritionist that has a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a major course of study in human nutrition, food and nutrition, dietetics or food systems management and is selected from nominations submitted by the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, as required by statute.
Salles, who has a Master of Public Health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine,  is also a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist. She has an extensive body of work in the nutrition and dietetics field, making her well-qualified for the appointment. She currently remains active using her expertise in consulting, health educating and coaching. She also lends her expertise to a number of news outlets.
The 48-year-old said her selection was a surprise, but she had been hoping her name would be submitted as a candidate. Salles said she feels passionately about her field and protecting the profession.
“I was every excited because it’s something that’s dear to my heart. I am passionate about wanting to help protect the public. The board was very supportive and wanted me to be involved so that really made me feel much better. I’m looking forward to it, I really am. This is something that I’ve been wanting about five years,” she said.
Salles said her “well-rounded” background may have been the most important part of her selection. She said she has at least 29 years in the medical field, beginning with her work in pharmaceutical sales and clinical marketing.
“I think because I definitely have the experience. I have a wide variety of things in my background, from clinical (work) to working in the community. I’ve given a lot back to the community, and I’ve been dedicated to the community,” said Salles. “You never know what you may end up being interested in down the road because I’ll be the first to say I have a background in sales.”
Salles said she owes many thanks to the Louisiana Department of Forestry and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain for his recommendation. She plans to use her experience on the board to become more active in the public policy and regulation aspects of the field.