From Silos to Partnerships: Collaborative Leadership for Health Equity & Social Justice

The 8th Annual Public Health Programs Success Showcase was held on Feb. 8, 2024 at the Westin Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta. The Showcase featured more than 65 projects from our program portfolio.

Poster categories from the event:


Leslie Best, BSW, Lanae Caulfield, BA, and Lorrie Graaf, RN, NACDD Consultants

This project provides resources and support for public health professionals to include brain health and dementia risk reduction messages in chronic disease risk reduction programs.



Lisa Erck, MS and Heather Murphy, BS

The arthritis portfolio is providing training and technical assistance to enhance the capacity of states to effectively address arthritis.


Julia Chevan, PhD, MPH; Lisa Erck, MS; and Heather Murphy, BS

This is an update of a 5-year project to develop and implement an approach designed to support healthcare providers in delivering clinical services to people with arthritis. We describe the work of our expert panel who informed the development of the framework for arthritis care.


Natasha McCoy, MPH

The “Partnership to Improve Laboratory Measurements of Chronic Disease Biomarkers” project is collaborative effort among the CDC Division of Laboratory Sciences (DLS) – Clinical Standardization Program (CSP), the Partnership for the Accurate Testing of Hormones (PATH) coalition, and NACDD. Project team has successfully developed strategic and communications plans, launched a website, and launched educational activities over the past five years.


Anya Karavanov, PhD; Lola Omolodun, MSPH; John Patton

In 2022 – 2023, NACDD partnered with the Family Medicine Education Consortium (FMEC) to create the Hereditary Cancer/Narrative Medicine Learning Collaborative. The storytelling tools and materials used by the collaborative were developed for the CDC’s Bring Your Brave campaign, which is, in part, designed to engage both patients and healthcare providers in more effective ways to talk about hereditary cancer, improve early detection, and reduce mortality.

The project summarizes NACDD’s work in maintaining and facilitating a multidisciplinary team of staff, consultants, and contractors to gather and collect real time information on proposed national and state policy changes that impact cancer prevention and control.

Through strong membership and partnerships, the Cancer Council works collaboratively with State, Tribal, and Territorial Health Departments to strengthen capacity to achieve a cancer-free tomorrow.

Natasha McCoy, Senior Public Health Consultant

This poster describes a CDC-funded project established to increase enrollment and use of a web-based learning management system created by the FL and SC central cancer data registry systems. System is used by CDC-funded central cancer registries to support continued learning, exchange resources, and support training needs of staff and subcontractors.

Cardiovascular Health

The CVH Team has worked collaboratively with Million Hearts® since 2012 to disseminate effective and practice-based strategies to improve the nation’s cardiovascular health. Several projects are underway to that engage clinical partners including data validation services for the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Challenge, developing a “Cardiac Rehab Change Made Easy” video series, and a partnership with the Preeclampsia Foundation to improve implementation of self-measured blood pressure monitoring (SMBP) and among Pregnant/Post-Part Partum People.


The NACDD CVH portfolio works collaboratively with staff state and local health department staff to develop and offer educational and capacity building opportunities to prevent and control cardiovascular disease. Efforts are primarily focused on the implementation of evidence-based strategies to increase control of high blood pressure through the National Cardiovascular Health Program.

The CVH Team supports, promotes, and implements the Million Hearts® Hospital and Health System recognition program since its launch in February 2020. Hospitals and health systems are recognized for their work to improve the cardiovascular health of patients, staff, and communities through priority areas and evidence-based strategies outlined in Million Hearts®2027.


The CVH Team launched The Million Hearts® Health Equity Implementation through six funded organizations from across the US to effectively implement Million Hearts® strategies among priority populations between January – July 2023. The resources provided through this opportunity supported work in reducing health disparities and improving cardiovascular health.

In 2023, the team launched The Heart of the Matter, a podcast to highlight best practices and innovation in cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion. Episodes are released on NACDD’s Soundcloud to amplify lessons learned and innovative strategies being implemented by leaders in the field. 

Center for Advancing Healthy Communities

Mara Galic, MHSc, RD; Joann Donnelly, MA, BCC, CSM; Leah Rimkus, MPH, RD; Vishwarupa Vasani, MPH; Alice Jaglowski, MSH; and Crystal E. Doxie, MBA

Launched in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Building Resilient Inclusive Communities (BRIC) program funded 20 states to develop state- and community-level action plans to equitably address food and nutrition security, safe physical activity access, and social connectedness. This poster highlights training and technical assistance provided to BRIC states across its three years, some of the state- and community-level outcomes achieved and plans for the program in 2024.

Dawn Wiatrek, PhD; Anya Karavanov, PhD; Vishwarupa Vasani, MPH; Kelly Durden, MA; and Samaha Hodges, MPH

This project will highlight two of new tobacco projects that are being led by CAHC.


Laura DeStigter, MPH and Lisa Erck, MS

The Work@Health portfolio is utilizing CDC tools and resources, specifically the Work@Heatlh curriculum, to compliment, amplify, and expand state-based efforts to engage employers in building effective and comprehensive workplace wellness programs.


Leah Rimkus, MPH, RD; Catherine McCann, PhD;
Vishwaruda Vasani. MP-: Heidi Milby. MPH: and
Ali Jaglowski, MSH

The Center for Advancing Healthy Communities (CAHC) fosters resilient, healthy communities for all by advancing health equity and eliminating social barriers to health. Formed in 2021 to maximize the impact of NACDD’s programs, the CAHC works to make public health more effective, equitable, and inclusive. Learn about the Center’s collective performance and impact between May 2021 and April 2022.


Catherine McCann, PhD, MSPH

NACDD’s Healthy Military Communities program facilitates connections between State Health Department Chronic Disease Programs and their military populations.


Tierney Thomson, MPH and Pascale D. Edouard, DrPH

In 2022, NACDD was awarded a Public Health AmeriCorps (PHA) grant from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. This three-year program is a collaboration between AmceriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to address public health needs of local communities while advancing more equitable health outcomes and create pathways to good quality public health-related careers.

NACDD’s Public Health AmeriCorps program aims to enhance the public health workforce and build the capacity of State and Local Health Departments implementing activities focused on addressing food and nutrition security, safe physical activity access, and social connectedness.


Heidi Milby, MPH; Ashley Krombach

NACDD’s Supports to Advance Emotional Well-being in Schools five-year cooperative agreement leverages partnerships with Child Trends and Mental Health America to engage learning collaborative cohorts of state leaders from State Education Agencies and State Health Departments, and Local Education Agencies each year to advance health equity in schools by developing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based policies, practices, and programs focused on the mental and emotional well-being of students and staff.


Charita James, MS, RD; Catherine McCann, PhD, MSPH; and Crystal E. Doxie, MBA

The State Partnerships Improving Nutrition & Equity Program (SPINE) addresses food and nutrition security through equitable and sustainable actions that tackle economic and social conditions limiting food and nutrition security across the lifespan. This poster shares information about the implementation and outcomes of the first two years of the program.

Karma E. Edwards, MSPH

NACDD brings together some of the nation’s best subject matter experts across disciplines, such as planning, transportation, elected officials, parks and recreation, economic development, racial/ethnic equity, and disability inclusion, to implement Walkability Action Institutes (WAI). The goal of the institutes is to help teams across the country influence walkability, movability, and community and transportation design through macro-level policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change strategies.



Mara Galic, MHSc, RD; Charita James, MS, RD; Joann Donnelly, MA, BCC, CSM; Leah Rimkus, MPH, RD;
Vishwarupa Vasani, MPH; and Ali Jaglowski, MSH

The White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health (National Strategy) aims to end hunger, increase healthy eating and physical activity, and decrease chronic disease prevalence and health disparities by 2030. To support NACDD Members with the tools, resources, and technical assistance needed to enact change, NACDD’s Center for Advancing Healthy Communities hosted a discussion series from March – October 2023 that supported group dialogue around the National Strategy. During the series, attendees shared innovative practices and impactful work in support of the National Strategy and connected with like-minded individuals for inspiration and guidance.


Center for Health Policy

NACDD’s Center for Health Policy promotes chronic disease prevention and ensures that all levels of prevention are included in the policy discourse.

Center for Justice in Public Health

The Center for Justice in Public Health supports NACDD goal of becoming a model anti-racist public health organization. Learn more about our efforts to promote health equity, diversity and inclusion.

Sandte Stanley, MA, MPH 

Robyn Taylor, MBA

The REDI Alliance is a staff run committee within NACDD which looks to actively build, retain, and foster inclusivity in its various components within the Association.


Beginning in April 2018, the National DPP lifestyle change program became a covered preventive service for eligible Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP). Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), State Health Departments (SHDs), national organizations, and NACDD support MDPP suppliers with technical assistance so they can be successful in helping increase Medicare beneficiary enrollment.


With support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in partnership with Maven Consulting, Inc., a tribal consulting firm, NACDD is coordinating three tribal projects that are designed to increase access to and participation in the National DPP lifestyle change program to decrease type 2 diabetes in Tribal communities. The projects aim to address immediate and long-term workforce needs through Lifestyle Coach and Master Trainer trainings, develop a peer mentor network to provide ongoing support for Lifestyle Coaches and National DPP staff, and engage Tribal Area Health Boards to develop infrastructure that will support diabetes prevention work in their regions.

Oral Health

This poster focuses on the last phase of this four year project that began with a review of the peer-reviewed literature to identify the evidence-base to support whole-person integrated care. The project has evolved to the partner activation stage. NACDD has been working with CDC’s Division of Oral Health to plan the launch of a branded initiative known as the Oral + Medical Alliance. The poster describes what the initiative hopes to achieve when launched, including two focus areas for partner engagement related to promoting medical-dental integration via the Oral + Medical Alliance.

This poster showcases the work that 5 states (CO, CT, ND, SC and VA) are doing to promote medical-dental integration through clinical and community partnerships. Each of the five states took different approaches to overcome similar challenges. NACDD was funded by CDC to provide technical assistance to the states and to document their journey. The end-products will include web-based and digital success stories that will be featured on the NACDD website.

Careers at NACDD

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