Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Beth Duncan

Committee Members

Harold H. Walker, John T. Smith


This report is based upon the student's experiences and observations during a seven weeks' period of field training with the Indiana State Board of Health. The Division of Nutrition provided. the guidance for the field experiences. Approximately five weeks and two days were spent in the central office, four days in the Northeastern Branch Office, one day in the Northwestern Branch Office, and three days with the local nutritionist in Marian County. It was impossible to learn the entire health program in a limited period of time; therefore, an attempt is made to describe the program as it appeared during field experiences.

Nutrition field experiences were requested in the state of Indiana for two principal reasons. The first was to become acquainted with a nutrition program that provides both consultant and direct nutrition services from the central and branch offices. Before graduate study, the student had worked as a public health nutritionist in a local health department in Kentucky. It was anticipated that the field experiences in the state of Indiana would help her understand how a nutrition staff functions from the central office. The second reason was to observe a nutrition program that offers consultation to institutions. The student thought orientation to this unfamiliar service would be particularly profitable in her future work of public health nutrition.

One purpose of the field experience was to supplement the academic training in public health nutrition at the University of Tennessee. Throughout the field experience an attempt was made to gain an understanding of how a state nutrition program is planned to meet the needs of the people in each district. The student wanted to observe the methods and techniques used in motivating persons of all ages to translate their knowledge of nutrition into practical application. Another objective of field training was to increase her appreciation and knowledge of the work of public health personnel outside the field of nutrition. To understand how nutrition activities are correlated with activities of other divisions, one must comprehend the scope of services provided through the official health agency.

The University of Tennessee and the Division of Nutrition jointly planned for the student's field experiences to be in the state of Indiana. During academic study, data was gathered about the state and its health programs through pamphlets and booklets published by the Indiana State Board of Health. The Director of the Division of Nutrition planned a training program of varied experiences to help the student accomplish her objectives. Information was obtained during field experiences through written material, conferences, meetings, and observation of and participation in the activities of both official and non-official health agencies in Indiana. Approximately two weeks were spent in conferences, meetings, and observations to orient the student in health services for institutions. A nutrition consultant, a sanitarian, and an advisory nurse were observed as they provided health services to the institutions. The student learned how nutrition services are incorporated into the total health services by observing personnel from other divisions perform their duties.

Eight days were devoted to conferences with directors or personnel in divisions of the State Board of Health to become acquainted with the public health program. Through conferences and field experiences with personnel of non-official health agencies, a knowledge was gained of how health agencies co-ordinate their services for more effective health programs.

Readings served to increase the student's knowledge of the health agencies and their programs in the state. Among the sources of information were the State Board of Health's annual reports and biennial plans, the Division of Nutrition's procedure manual, and publications regarding health laws.

The information obtained during field training is summarized and presented in the following five chapters of this report. Immediately following this introduction is Chapter I, The State of Indiana. The history, geography, economy, statistics, and health information of the state are presented.

In Chapter II, The Indiana State Board of Health, the history, organization, and function of this official agency are discussed. This chapter gives some indication of the agency's role in solving the health problems.

Chapter III presents the history, organization, and administration of the Division of Nutrition. This information indicates how the nutrition program is influenced by administrative procedures and organization of the Division.

Chapter IV, The Nutrition Program, discusses specific services that are rendered by the nutrition division. These activities are subdivided into nutrition services to institutions and nutrition education programs in the community.

In the last chapter, Summary and Evaluation, the student relates the highlights and significance of the field experiences. Field training is evaluated in terms of the student's objectives.

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