NACDD Hires Senior Director of Health Equity, Celebrates 2021 Achievements Advancing Anti-Racism in State Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Stacey Evans
ATLANTA (Jan. 28, 2022) — To further the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors’ (NACDD) strategic goal of becoming an anti-racist public health organization, Robyn Taylor, MBA, has been hired to serve as the Senior Director of Health Equity. NACDD carefully developed the Senior Director of Health Equity role in response to continued widening health disparities among historically marginalized and oppressed communities.
“We are thrilled to have Robyn join us in this prominent role,” said NACDD CEO John W. Robitscher, MPH. “Robyn has done significant work for the Association as our Health Equity consultant and as a leader in our Health Equity Council. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Association, and the work she will continue to do is vital to our mission. As the Senior Director of Health Equity, she will help ensure that we have a consistent focus on social and racial equity across our portfolio of work and in the Association’s operations.”
Taylor also will lead the development of a center for health equity at NACDD. Her previous work at NACDD includes a project to increase enrollment of minority men in the National Diabetes Prevention Program and a project to reduce breast cancer disparities. She also co-wrote the Moving to Institutional Equity: A Tool to Address Racial Equity in Public Health tool, and is a founding member of NACDD’s Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Alliance, which was established in 2020 to focus on promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within NACDD’s internal culture and practices.
Prior to NACDD, Taylor has an extensive background in public service including serving as the Assistant Director of Health Equity for the State of Ohio, and has worked with the New Jersey Nicholson Foundation, Horizon Health, and the National Recreation and Parks Association in developing the NRPA Health Equity Framework. She also is co-founder of Epic Health Solutions.
Taylor’s hiring is just one of many milestones NACDD has achieved in the past year as part of the Association’s investment in promoting racial and health equity and to address the root causes of health.
The Association’s FY 2021 Board President Dr. Susan Kansagra called upon state chronic disease programs to redouble their efforts to dismantle structural racism through a greater focus on racial equity in chronic disease programs. Twelve states committed to implementing activities or goals highlighted in the “Action Steps to Advance Racial Equity as a Core Component of State Chronic Disease Programs” guide. Current NACDD Board President Kristi Pier’s President’s Challenge for 2022 focuses on building resilience to move forward from the inequities and stressors chronic disease teams have experienced, to actively address and seek ways to improve health outcomes.
“Inequity and the underlying causal factors that impact the health and quality of life for our populations has been forefront in the NACDD strategic plan. I am proud of the incredible work being done in our communities by our Members, as well as NACDD’s equity-focused programming,” Pier said. “I look forward to the new energy and resources from the integration of the equity center into NACDD’s organizational structure, and the innovative ideas Robyn will share with our chronic disease peers across the country to bridge equity gaps.”
NACDD’s 2022 Program Success Showcase, held in January, featured two panel discussions on the health debt, casting a light on disparities and their root causes. The upcoming Chronic Disease Academy also will have health equity as a major component of its programming, featuring a variety of voices and learning opportunities on the subject. In addition, NACDD’s 2022 Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Communications Guide, a guideline of the preferred writing style and terminology for state health communicators, will include a substantially enhanced section on health equity language.
NACDD’s program work also has continued to emphasize health equity. Within the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program’s 30th anniversary event, a health equity training journal was developed for awardees with activities, examples, exercises, and questions to facilitate discussion, broaden views, and identify opportunities for improvement.
Several of NACDD’s 2021 GEAR Groups – case-based, peer-to-peer learning opportunities to promote state-level action – also focused on anti-racism and how to use data to promote equity in policy and programming.
In addition, NACDD is launching a new million-dollar cooperative agreement with the Black Women’s Health Initiative, a major actor in the equity field. More information on this collaboration will be available in the coming months.
“NACDD has been a model organization in taking action in regard to health equity and committing to becoming anti-racist,” Taylor said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to expand my role as the Association continues to work to reduce and eliminate the inequities that negatively impact our health and our lives, to effect real change for all the communities we serve.”