Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Residency

Is Our Program in Your Future?

The Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Residency program is for dietitians, nutritionists, and graduate students who are interested in:

  • expanding skills and knowledge in the broad field of community nutrition
  • working with experienced and dedicated community and public health nutritionists
  • being challenged to further develop critical and creative thinking skills
  • increasing skills to develop, promote, manage, integrate and evaluate community nutrition programs
  • changing career paths to public health or community nutrition
  • updating to re-enter the workforce
  • meeting DOC (Dietitians of Canada) competencies for community nutrition (graduate students only)


The SCNR Program
is for dietitians, nutritionists and graduate students desiring advanced practical training in community nutrition.

The program evolved from the Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Internship program which ran from 1986-1996.

The program (3-4 months in length) is dedicated to providing participants with advanced level practical training in community nutrition.

Five partnering agencies sponsor, coordinate and support the program. Each agency is represented by a specialist in community nutrition.

Public health nutritionists and dietitians from across Saskatchewan participate in the program.


The SCNR program is committed to:


  • upholding the Code of Ethics as set out by Dietitians of Canada
  • offering community nutrition experiences that reflect present and emerging health and societal needs
  • helping the resident understand and adapt to the changing environment in which community nutrition services exist
  • consulting with residents, educators, and other stakeholders in the provision of the program
  • fostering a learner-centered, self-directed approach to residency training
  • creating a learning environment which facilitates critical thinking and the development of creative problem solving skills
  • providing competent educators who serve as role models and who support the program’s mission statement and guiding principles
  • using resources in an efficient and effective manner

The program goals are to:


  • provide the resident with the opportunity to develop advanced dietetic and nutrition competencies in community nutrition
  • enable the resident to develop, promote, manage, and integrate community nutrition programs
  • foster and develop decision-making skills at an advanced level in community nutrition
  • expose the resident to dietetic work of increased complexity in the community nutrition field
  • further develop the resident’s critical and creative thinking skills



Two sessions each year: September, April. Each session is approximately 3-4 months depending on the experiences and background of the resident.

Daily hours of work vary with the agency placement. A 5 day, 40 hour week is usual. Individuals who wish to pursue the residency program on a part-time basis will be considered and accommodated if possible.

Two residents can be accepted in September and April, totalling 4 placements per year. Individuals from all provinces are welcome to apply.

The resident’s host site may be Saskatoon, Regina, or another health district in Saskatchewan. Residents may indicate his/her preferred location on the application form.

The resident is responsible for arranging his/her own living accommodation.

The resident would benefit from having access to a vehicle.




Upon entry to the SCNR program, the resident is assigned to a “host” health district. This district may be urban or rural-based. The resident, residency director and supervisor (from health district) plan a 3-4 month program based on the competencies to be met, the resident’s previous experiences and interests, and the interests of the health district.

Typical activities involved in meeting competencies include:

  • contributing to the overall goals of public health nutrition programs within the health district
  • developing, providing, and managing nutrition programs for the community
  • advocating action to meet nutrition needs of the community
  • participating as part of the community health care team
  • interacting with other community service providers
  • providing nutrition technical assistance to government departments, mass media, community agencies, professionals, lay leaders, and the public
  • conducting practice-based research in community nutrition
  • preparing articles for publication in newsletters and journals
  • working with other community agencies outside the host health district
  • assisting in teaching university community nutrition courses
  • mentoring and supervising university students in volunteer projects
  • attending continuing professional education events
  • developing a portfolio of experiences
  • exploring and pursuing activities of particular interest



The Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Residency program is open to applicants who meet the following criteria:
    • the applicant has successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree with major credits in nutrition and/or foodservice administration from a university or college whose accreditation is acceptable to Dietitians of Canada


    • the applicant has successfully completed a dietetic internship or a two-year practicum program which is acceptable to Dietitians of Canada*

    • the applicant possess the university qualifications for the Community Nutrition Concentration “D”

  • the applicant has successfully completed one community nutrition course or the Introductory Community Nutrition Module* * and one research methods course***

* Master’s candidates or graduates who are working on meeting their competencies for community nutrition as set out by Dietitians of Canada are also welcome to apply.

* * Applicants who do not possess the qualifications for the community nutrition concentration “D”, or who have not successfully completed one community nutrition course, may complete the Introductory Community Nutrition Module offered by the SCNR program. This module must be completed before beginning the residency program. Contact Jenny Okroj, Assistant Residency Director, Community Health Services, Regina Health District, 1920 McIntyre St. Regina, SK S4P 2R3 for more information on the module.

*** These requirements may be waived if the candidate can demonstrate sufficient experience in community nutrition or research methods.


The resident selection process for the SCNR program includes:

1. Applicants submit a package which includes:

  • a written description of applicant’s academic preparation
  • three letters of reference
  • summary of experiences - paid and volunteer
  • a 2 page personal letter outlining goals in entering the program

Preference is given to individuals who, based on the application documents, are judged to be self-motivated and self-directed with a keen interest in community nutrition. Work and volunteer experiences that have developed skills that would be of value in a community setting are an asset.

2. Telephone or personal interviews may be conducted with short-listed applicants.

More detailed information on package submission is included in the application package.



Suzanne Mahaffey, M.Sc., P.Dt. - Chair of the SCNR Coordinating Council
Suzanne is the Manager of the Nutrition Department, Public Health Services, Saskatoon District Health. She coordinates nutrition programming for four health districts, which includes both a rural and urban component and a population of approximately 265,075. Staffing includes 6 nutritionists and 2 contract staff (with the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program). Suzanne is a clinical assistant professor in community nutrition with the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan. She also holds an appointment as an internship program accreditor with Dietitians of Canada.

Shawna Berenbaum, Ph.D., M.H.Sc., P.Dt. - Residency Director
Shawna is an Associate Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan. She is responsible for teaching community nutrition courses, specifically nutrition throughout the lifecycle, introduction to community nutrition and nutrition program planning and evaluation. She supervises several community nutrition master’s and doctoral students and has directed the Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Internship since 1986. Shawna also conducts community nutrition related research, is the DOC Course Director for the Division of Nutrition and Dietetics and is the Centre Director of the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition’s Nutrition Resource and Volunteer Centre.

Jenny Okroj, P.Dt. - Assistant Residency Director
Jenny is presently employed as a Community Health Nutritionist and has been in this position for several years. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and a dietetic internship. Before beginning to work in public health, Jenny worked as a clinical dietitian in local hospitals in such areas as Intensive Care and the Burn Unit, and was the first dietitian at the Regina Cancer Clinic. Jenny has also worked in administration with a food service management company. She is active in the national and provincial dietetic associations.

Karen Cooper, M.Sc., M.P.H., P.Dt.
Karen is the Provincial Nutritionist with Saskatchewan Health. She is responsible for coordination of public health nutrition programs with a provincial focus as well as communication and liaison with national and other provincial nutrition programs. She has been a member of a number of national and provincial working groups such as the Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians Committee. Karen was one of the original developers of the Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Internship program. Since 1993 she has been co-principal investigator of the Saskatchewan Heart Health Program, a six year research project. Karen is currently pursuing her doctorate in public health.

Terry Ann Oleksyn, P.Dt..
Terry Ann graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition with a B.Sc. (NUTR) in 1989. Upon completion of the Saskatchewan Community Nutrition Internship program in 1991 she began employment as a public health nutritionist in the Moose Jaw area where she is still presently employed for the Moose Jaw Thundercreek and South Country Health Districts. Terry Ann is also on the Board of the Saskatchewan Dietetic Association, as member-at-large for the Communications Committee, and is an Assistant Editor for the Organization for Nutrition Education newsletter.


An Advisory Council to the Coordinating Council reviews and makes recommendations on the SCNR program. Membership on the Advisory Council includes representatives from the Public Health Nutritionists Working Group of Saskatchewan, the Community Dietitians Group of Saskatchewan, senior public health officials, and training and education experts.


Saskatchewan is home to approximately 45 community dietitians and public health nutritionists. These individuals are located in health districts throughout the province in cities and towns such as:

  • Saskatoon
  • Regina
  • Moose Jaw
  • Prince Albert
  • Swift Current
  • North Battleford
  • Rosetown
  • Weyburn
  • Melfort
  • Yorkton
  • La Ronge

Saskatchewan, the home of medicare, recognizes a health care system based on health promotion and disease prevention.


Saskatoon District Health
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Health
Regina Health District
Moose Jaw/Thunder Creek Health District



Individuals meeting the program requirements for admission are invited to apply.

Contact Dr. S. Berenbaum (address below) for an application package.

Deadline dates for submission of application package:

  • January 30, 1997 for April 1997 start date
  • May 30, 1997 for September 1997 start date

Send completed application forms and all documentation required by the dates specified to:

Dr. Shawna Berenbaum
Residency Director, SCNR
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition
University of Saskatchewan
110 Science Place
Saskatoon SK S7N 5C9

(306) 966-5836
(306) 966-6377 (Fax)