The Nashville Support Group

Upcoming Meeting(s)

Thursday, February 28, 2019
6:00 pm

Topic: Guest Speaker- Nutritionists from Vanderbilt

Our topic will be focused on the role that nutrition plays in chronic disease generally and AS specifically. We are fortunate to have two board certified dietitians from the Vanderbilt Nutrition Clinic that will be presenting. Below you will find short bios for each. As usual, feel free to bring your significant others to any of our meetings.

Jessica Bennett is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and the outpatient team leader for Vanderbilt Nutrition Clinic. She works in a variety of nutrition areas including Vanderbilt Nutrition Clinic, Vanderbilt Athletics, Vanderbilt Student Health, and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and focuses on the areas of sports, vegetarian/vegan nutrition, pediatric picky eating, weight management, general and corporate wellness. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Clinical Nutrition through Rutgers University.  Jessica enjoys presenting and providing nutrition information in a variety of media outlets including, ESPN, ABC, and local news. She enjoys presenting nutrition information in a creative way and feels small changes creates big results and loves the role food can play in our health and wellness.

Fran Blackman is a Certified Diabetes Educator at the Vanderbilt Nutrition Clinic. She is Responsible for assessing the nutrition status of patients at nutritional risk as well as developing, implementing, and evaluating the nutrition care plan for patients, this includes nutrition education for individuals and groups; participate in training of dietetic interns and other health care professionals; participating in clinical nutrition outcomes research when applicable. She is passionate about working with patients and clients and enjoys helping them to achieve their goals. Fran stays on top of nutrition trends and products when developing a plan of care.

Meeting Location

Southeast Community Center
Meeting Room 1 
5260 Hickory Hollow Parkway #201
Antioch, TN 37013

*When inputting into mapping app or GPS, it is recommended to use the Nashville Public Library Southeast Branch as the destination.

*This location is on the Nashville bus route, and the meeting rooms are all on the first floor.

Group Leader

Ben Young, DVM
(615) 946-7169

About Ben Young, Nashville's Support Group Leader

Ben received his diagnosis after several years with regular bouts of uveitis, progressive back pain, and peripheral joint pain. In 2016, he was fortunate to finally receive a diagnosis and has found moderate relief with biologics. 

Ben is a proponent of continued physical activity, at whatever level one is capable, to maintain both physical and mental health in the face of this chronic disease. He is a veterinarian and lives just outside of Nashville with his wife Tara.

About the Nashville Support Group

The Nashville SAA support group is newly formed, and we continue to add new members. Currently our membership represents a diverse swath of experiences including unique journeys to diagnosis, clinical signs and complications, treatments and management techniques, etc. Along with those living with AS, we welcome the significant others or family members who provide daily support to our members; in many ways these welcome guests also “live with” AS everyday. Each meeting will address a topic that the group has previously identified as a topic of interest. These will include social-emotional impacts of chronic disease, management tips, updates in research, updates in treatment modalities, and many more topics. Most meetings will consist of an invited speaker whose expertise pertains to the topic at hand. There will always be ample time to share personal experiences and direct questions to the speaker and/or the group. There is no cost to attend a meeting.

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Spondylitis Association of America

16360 Roscoe Blvd.  Ste. 100
Van Nuys, CA 91406


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(800) 777-8189 U.S. only
or (818) 892-1616
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