NACDD Launches Center for Health Policy; Liz Ruth Named Vice President


Contact: Jeremy Arieh

Atlanta (June 20, 2023) – The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is pleased to announce the promotion of Liz Ruth to Vice President (VP) of the new Center for Health Policy (CHP). In this role, Ruth will plan, develop, implement, and manage all aspects of NACDD’s policy work. 

“Liz has been such a great asset to our Association over the past four years,” said NACDD’s CEO John W. Robitscher. “She has played an integral role in expanding our policy and advocacy work and has led the launch of our new Center for Health Policy.” 

Ruth will continue to work with staff across State Health Departments to develop policy approaches and resources to advance chronic disease prevention and health promotion. She will also provide leadership and direct oversight related to all CHP staff and initiatives. She will monitor, track, and analyze relevant legislative and regulatory policies at the national, state, and local level, and serve as the primary decision-maker as it relates to all policy and governmental affair initiatives. 

“Policy change can improve the health of the population,” Ruth said. “We want NACDD to be the leading voice for including all levels of prevention in the policy discourse. We are excited for the Center of Health Policy to amplify the work our Members are doing to address chronic disease in their states. We plan to communicate to policymakers at every level how prevention is the way we can change the trajectory of health in the United States.”

Prior to joining NACDD, Ruth spent two years as a research fellow in CDC’s Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy, where she provided subject matter expertise on communicating with policymakers. Before CDC, Ruth spent nine years in Washington in a variety of policy roles. She served as a legislative assistant in the office of Senator Deb Fischer (NE), where she was responsible for a policy portfolio including health, labor, and education issues. Earlier in her career, she worked in government relations for several associations where she monitored federal and state legislative developments and worked with state affiliates to address emerging issues and develop strategies to respond.

NACDD launched its Center for Health Policy earlier this year to leverage its long-running success in advocacy to ensure chronic disease prevention is included in all policies, including sectors like housing, transportation, and social justice. As the only organization representing all state and territorial Chronic Disease Directors and their staff, NACDD is uniquely positioned to be an influential voice in policy discussions about funding state chronic disease programs, investing in primary prevention, and strengthening and expanding evidence-based programs that prevent chronic disease and promote population health.

“The epidemic of chronic disease continues to ravage our country. If we don’t make intentional policy changes, we are doing a serious disservice to the next generation,” Robitscher added. “Through this Center, we are committed to being a national leader for chronic disease prevention and health promotion policy, so that all Americans can lead healthier lives free from chronic disease.”

Learn more about NACDD’s policy goals and advocacy efforts.

Center will host Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC on June 22

NACDD’s CHP will host a Congressional Briefing entitled Prescribing Prevention: How Physical Activity and Nutrition Can Stop the Epidemic of Chronic Disease on Thursday, June 22 at 9:30 a.m. ET at the Capitol Visitors Center in SVC 212-10. Speakers from CDC, Alaska Department of Health, and Hawaii State Department of Health will provide an overview of how state-level programs and policies, including Food is Medicine, are addressing physical activity and nutrition challenges.

To RSVP for the briefing, please contact Liz Ruth.

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