Harriët Jager-Wittenaar named Professor by special appointment of Dietetics and transmural nutritional care

Dr Harriët Jager-Wittenaar will be named as Professor by special appointment of Dietetics and transmural nutritional care at Radboud university medical centre / Radboud University as of September 1, 2023. Her research focuses on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in the ill and older adults. Her ambition is to involve the entire chain of healthcare in optimizing nutritional care: from community nursing to academic care. The chair is sponsored by the Dutch Association of Dietitians and the Radboud university medical centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. This chair is the second chair in Dietetics in the Netherlands, and the first at a university medical center. She will combine the new position with her position as a Professor of Malnutrition and Healthy Ageing at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands.

Knowledge transfer

The research in the chair focuses on three themes.

I want a stronger scientific evidence base for dietetic interventions. Thus carrying forward what we encounter in practice to scientific evidence and guidelines. But I also want knowledge from research to be transferred to patients, both in hospitals and in people’s homes.”

In addition, Harriët wants to realize more collaboration between different (healthcare) professionals. According to her, close consultation between different disciplines, from the doctor to the dietitian and other allied healthcare professionals, but also professionals from the social domain, is essential for the creation of a joint treatment plan.

Precisely because the risk factors for malnutrition have so many different elements and thus require different expertise and interventions.

The third theme is transmural nutritional care, from hospital to home.

With my research, I want to show that interprofessional collaboration within the entire care chain is effective for improving nutritional intake and nutritional status. In this way, we can prevent (severe) malnutrition.

Harriët’s contribution to the EFAD-ESPEN collaboration

Harriët Jager-Wittenaar, the former Lead of ESDN Older Adults, has played a pivotal role in advancing the field of dietetics and nutrition. She co-created and led the EFAD-ESPEN Working Group, where she continues to be an active member. Through this collaboration, EFAD dietitians have had increased involvement in the development of ESPEN guidelines, while dietitians’ representation in the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) has grown stronger.

Harriët: “My research program focuses on the shift from late treatment of malnutrition to the proactive treatment of risk factors for malnutrition, with the ultimate aim to prevent (severe) malnutrition. The dietitian perspective is very important for the future of nutritional care. My ambition is to put this paradigm shift, which requires interprofessional collaboration in research and practice and transmural care, on the international agenda.”