NACDD Celebrates Staff Growth in 2020



CONTACT: Paige Rohe,, 404-924-8295

ATLANTA (Feb. 11, 2020) — Continuing the expansion of its Headquarters staff to 34 in 2020, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) has hired three new employees (Dr. Jeanne Alongi, Sarah Cantrell Perkins, and Vishwarupa “Vish” Vasani) as well as promoted current staff member, Shellyann Martin, to a new role.

“Chronic disease prevention and control is an enormous charge that no one person, alone, can achieve,” said John W. Robitscher, MPH, NACDD’s CEO. “With these new staff members joining the Association, NACDD will continue to help make a difference for the millions of Americans working to protect and promote their own health.”

Dr. Jeanne Alongi Hired as Director of Public Health Practice

Dr. Jeanne Alongi, a long-time consultant to NACDD based in Sacramento, Calif., has joined the staff as the Director of Public Health Practice, effective Jan. 27.

Dr. Alongi has more than 15 years of experience with NACDD, facilitating its work on public sector public health practice, leadership development, and organizational capacity building.

In her new role, reporting to Senior Director of Programs Marti Macchi, Dr. Alongi will help to stand up NACDD’s strategic programmatic growth in leadership development and evidence-based practice. NACDD sees the establishment of a Public Health Practice Department as critical to its ability to remain competitive as an Association and to help expand and diversify its funding streams.

Dr. Alongi’s professional experience spans academic, national, state, and local-level practice, and her professional interests center on organizational effectiveness and evidence-based practice in government public health agencies to achieve population health goals.

She is the recipient of the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Alongi earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Davis, a Master of Public Health from the George Washington University, and a doctorate in Public Health Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sarah Cantrell Perkins Hired as Member Services Specialist

Also joining NACDD in a newly created role is Member Services Specialist Sarah Cantrell Perkins, MEd, effective Feb. 10. Prior to NACDD, Perkins served as the Director for Civic Engagement at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. With more than 12 years of experience as a civic engagement professional, Perkins brings to NACDD extensive experience in project management, training, and curriculum development as well as member recruitment and retention.

Originally from North Carolina, Perkins received a BA in English from Davidson College and a MEd in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. Prior to graduate school, Perkins served for two years as a Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

Vishwarupa (Vish) Vasani Hired as Portfolio Manager

Vishwarupa (Vish) Vasani, MPH, a new Portfolio Manager, comes to NACDD from YMCA of the USA, effective Feb. 10. As a Technical Advisor, she provided training and technical assistance to local YMCAs in the delivery of evidence-based chronic disease prevention and management programs to ensure adherence to program standards, contract terms, and other performance requirements.

Prior to that role, she was a Public Health Specialist for five years with the City of Minneapolis Health Department. There, she coordinated the development and implementation of various strategies designed to improve access to healthy eating, active living, and chronic disease prevention and management opportunities for all Minneapolis residents, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color. Her two greatest achievements were developing and leading the city’s first healthier beverage initiative (ReThink Your Drink, Every Sip Counts) and working with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to create onsite systems for residents in high-rises to eat healthy, be active, and prevent and/or manage diabetes and hypertension.

She also completed a three-year Public Health Prevention Service fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she worked in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity and the Division of STD Prevention. Vasani originally is from San Diego and currently resides in Detroit with her husband.

Shellyann Martin Promoted to Human Resources Coordinator

Following NACDD’s commitment to internally promote staff members who exemplify dedication to the Association and an enthusiasm to further their professional aptitude, Shellyann Martin has been promoted to Human Resources Coordinator, effective Feb. 3.

Martin has worked for NACDD since 2018 as a Staff Accountant Processing – Accounts Payable. In her new role, Martin will utilize her past experience with processing payroll, payroll reporting, and onboarding. She will assist with hiring and onboarding processes, processing payroll, and financial reporting as well as oversee some activities related to staff retention and engagement.

Learn more about NACDD’s Mission and Vision.


The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
Promoting Health. Preventing Disease.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and its more than 7,000 Members seek to strengthen state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states and nationally. Established in 1988, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NACDD is the only membership association of its kind to serve and represent every chronic disease division in all states and U.S. territories. For more information, visit

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