Starting a Section

Taking the First Steps   

The Sections Program was developed in 1998 to enhance the interdisciplinary nature of ASPEN’s membership. Sections have been instrumental in improving communication among members with similar professional interests and continue to encourage the development of new educational programs and services for members. They also provide a wonderful opportunity for members to engage in the association, network with colleagues and develop skills and experience in leadership.

What Is an ASPEN Section?    

A Section is an established group of members with similar interests, expertise or educational background who have developed goals which advance the Society's strategic plan. Sections draw from across the ASPEN membership. For more details, see Section Scope and ASPEN Bylaws, Section XXIII.

What Is a Section’s Role?    

The primary role of ASPEN Sections is communication among members with similar professional interests and identifying needs for educational programs. Other roles include providing a voice within ASPEN for Sectional interests, advancing
ASPEN’s Strategic Management Program and furthering the organizational purpose of ASPEN, which is:

  1. To foster the optimal use of clinical nutrition services throughout the course of the patient’s illness by healthcare professionals in all settings.
  2. To expand ASPEN’s capacity to increase financial support of, stimulate performance of, facilitate communication of basic, clinical, and outcomes research related to clinical nutrition therapies throughout the life cycle.
  3. To serve as a responsible voice on behalf of clinical nutrition professionals to individuals who are not nutrition specialists.
  4. To anticipate and respond to the changing professional needs of members.
  5. Enhance the organization’s ability to reach new and traditional audiences. 

More specifically, Sections strive to serve the unique needs of their group as dictated in the Section Charge.

What Can ASPEN Do for You?    

ASPEN supports Sections with a host of services and tools including leadership training, communication, limited budget and more. Details will be provided once your application is accepted.

Let’s Get Started…  

  1. Convene a group of at least 50 interested members.
  2. Review the requirements for petitioning and maintaining ASPEN Section Status
  3. Map out your Section, including
    • our vision (why you want to be a Section),
    • your plan (what you are going to do to advance ASPEN’s strategic  plan)  
      • list several attainable goals and objectives for the upcoming fiscal year using ASPEN's Board approved strategic management program as a guide a definition of practice or interest area 
  4. Identify your start-up leadership team.
  5. Complete and submit a Petition for ASPEN Section Status.

Requirements for Petitioning and Maintaining ASPEN Section Status    

Sections must meet the following requirements to petition and/or maintain ASPEN Section status:

  • A minimum of 50 members, all of whom are ASPEN members. 
  • Section membership shall be open to all ASPEN members.
  • Attainable goals and objectives that meet objectives of the Sections Program and are in-line with  ASPEN’s Board-approved strategic management program.
  • Must be organized and operated in accordance with the rules and regulations established by ASPEN as outlined in the ASPEN bylaws.
  • At least two identified leaders to serve as chair and chair-elect.
  • To maintain status, Sections must