Meet Vicky A. Newman, MS, RDN
Vicky passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at the age of 74 on January 23, 2020, while at her home in Pacific Beach. She is survived by her son, Tei Newman-Lehman of San Diego, CA; her two sisters, Alexandra Newman of Acton, CA, and Lucinda Hood of Ventura, CA; and her nephew, Douglas Hood of Camarillo, CA. Her work lives on in her students, trainees, and colleagues. However, her memory lives on in all of those individuals she impacted with her warm and authentic personality.
Vicky was a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) that specialized in an integrated and personalized approach to nutrition, health, and healing. She believed that food not only nourishes the body, but also nurtures the spirit, and is essential for optimal functioning — to be able to live life with exuberance no matter what our age.
She had an under-graduate degree from UCLA and a Master of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition (Dietetics) from San Diego State University. She was a member of the voluntary faculty at the UC San Diego School of Medicine since 1984, serving as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health. Vicky was an active member of the Institute for Functional Medicine and the Dietitians in Functional Medicine (DIFM) Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The functional nutrition philosophy centers around a “Food as Medicine” approach to wellness, and embraces the connection between body, mind, and spirit in health promotion and disease prevention. She was also part of the faculty of Bastyr University (San Diego) as an Adjunct Professor, and taught in their graduate nutrition program.
Her early career focused on women’s nutritional issues, including direction of a statewide demonstration project providing nutrition counseling to pregnant women at nutritional risk. During this period, she took an active role in setting statewide practice guidelines for nutritional care of women in California. Later, she provided nutrition education in a lactation management training program provided to physicians-nurse teams from the US and around the world through Wellstart International, a WHO-Collaborating Center located in San Diego.
From 1995 – 2014, Vicky was the Director of Nutrition Services for the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. In this capacity, she developed and managed the telephone coaching and dietary assessment components for a number of multi-state clinical trials involving cancer patients and those at risk for cancer. The largest of these studies was the Women’s Healthy Eating & Living (WHEL) Study, which evaluated the effects of diet on recurrence from breast cancer in more than 3,000 women. Click HERE for more information about this work. The UCSD Healthy Eating Program and the Healing Foods Kitchen classes at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center evolved from the WHEL Study counseling intervention and cooking class curriculum that Vicky developed in collaboration with our research team.
Though retired from full-time employment at UC San Diego (June 2014), she continue working with the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health as a member of the Voluntary Faculty. She also enjoy consulting with individuals and organizations, and providing educational programs in the community. Vicky was also a guest instructor at nearby Rancho La Puerta Spa in Tecate, Mexico for more than 25 years.
In addition to her professional interests, Vicky loved to gather friends together to share food and music. She and her friends specialized in potlucks featuring foods with BIG color and STRONG flavor—dishes that are both delicious and nourishing. And she loved to coordinate musical events, including group sing-along events with live music, as well as concerts featuring musicians specializing in “posi” (positive/uplifting) music.