2021 GEAR Group Opportunities

2021 GEAR Group Opportunities

NACDD invites state chronic disease practitioners from the novice to the expert to participate in a 2021 GEAR Group. GEAR Groups are NACDD’s case-based, peer-to-peer learning opportunity designed to catalyze planning for longer term state level action.

GEAR Groups use the University of New Mexico’s ECHO model™ – a virtual, “all teach / all learn” approach to professional development.

Participants will advance their leadership and management skills while contributing to the collective effort to advance health equity by exploring one or more of the following topics: healthy food access, early care and education, adverse community experiences, and building active, healthy and inclusive communities.

GEAR Groups, each with up to 12 states, will explore their topic through case presentations, short didactic presentations, and active discussions over the course of four 90-minute video meetings. A Facilitator and Strategist will guide each discussion to explore opportunities for improvement through partnerships, promising interventions or policies, data, and evaluation.

GEAR Group Member Expectations

GEAR Group members can boost efforts in their state to by applying lessons learned to their state context. To maximize impact of this short-term, small group opportunity, GEAR Group members have the following expectations.

  1. Prepare for and actively participate in all four web conferences on camera using the ZOOM platform.
  2. Write and present a 5-minute case presentation. This can pertain to something your state is working on already or something under consideration related to the GEAR Group topic. Case presentations are followed by group discussion, offering presenters the opportunity to gather wisdom, feedback, and guidance from peers and a strategist.
  3. Review written case presentations in advance of GEAR Group sessions and be prepared to share ideas and resources with fellow participants.
  4. Be willing to listen, reflect, learn, and share thoughts and experiences relevant to the topic during and between video conferences.
  5. Facilitate building relationships and trust among the group members by connecting with at least one other member between each meeting.
  6. Share lessons learned and resources gained through the GEAR Groups with colleagues in your state.
  7. Complete the GEAR Group evaluation questionnaire and or interview after the series and again six months later.


Registration will open about eight weeks before the start of each group. Before registering, carefully review the group description and confirm your availability for the group dates and times, then click the GEAR Group name below to register. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Individuals may participate in more than one group if space is available. Two representatives per state are welcome to participate as a pair, preparing and presenting one case presentation. You will be asked to share the following as part of registration:

  1. Name, contact information, state, and position title
  2. Availability and commitment to the group meeting dates (Members are asked to participate in ALL FOUR meeting times.)
  3. Case presentation topic and short description – 3-5 sentences. (You will be asked to complete the official case presentation form once the registration window is closed) 
  4. Short bio (3-5 sentences)
  5. Web cam shipping information (if needed)

2021 GEAR Group Topics and Meeting Dates

[Click the GEAR Group Name to Register]

  1. Foundations of Addressing Systemic Racism as a Public Health Crisis (Oct. 6, 14, 20, 27, 2020)
    • Subject Matter Expert/Strategist: Robyn Taylor
    • Innovation Team Facilitator: Sana Hashim
    • This GEAR Group will explore the impact of and potential solutions for addressing systemic racism in the context of chronic disease prevention and control. Eating well, being physically active, avoiding tobacco and excessive drinking, and getting regular health screenings are all only as accessible as the systems in which people live, work, learn, pray, and play are designed to be. In light of growing evidence, consensus, and awareness that consciously and unconsciously racist policies, programs, and attitudes impact health outcomes at the population level, state and territorial chronic disease practitioners will explore the role they are uniquely positioned to play in impacting change among their residents. Case presentations or proposals may highlight how chronic disease programs are working to acknowledge and address racism both institutionally and programmatically or other related topics of interest to state participants.
  2. Using Data to Promote Equity in Policy and Programming (Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26, 2021)
    • Subject Matter Expert/Strategist: Karma Harris
    • Innovation Team Facilitator: Sana Hashim
    • The ways in which data are collected and presented often drive the programmatic priorities and policies developed by state health departments. When it comes to how resources are allocated, screenings are made available, and prevention programming is distributed, chronic disease practitioners have a unique opportunity to address and eliminate unintentional bias in the collection and utilization of data that might favor resource rich communities over those that have been historically disenfranchised. This GEAR Group will explore how unintentional bias may show up in state health policy and programming and strategies to address, avoid, and prevent it. Case presentations or proposals may explore effective or promising practices that enable state health departments and chronic disease units to take a more equitable path in how data drive policy and programming.
  3. Supporting Communities in Building Resilience during Times of Crisis (Mar. 2, 9, 16, 23, 2021)
    • Subject Matter Expert/Strategist: Ali Jaglowski
    • Innovation Team Facilitator: Sana Hashim
    • Whether it’s a novel disease outbreak, a hurricane, or other crisis, health departments are increasingly tested by events that force a short or long-term shift to emergency operations and crisis management and often vary in their impact on residents by race, gender, income level, or housing status. Individuals with existing chronic conditions are more vulnerable to adverse outcomes, complications, and increased mortality from novel health threats or disasters. This GEAR Group will explore strategies that leaders can use to cultivate community resilience with a focus on upstream factors that impact health. Using chronic disease programming (e.g. diabetes prevention or hypertension self-management) as a foundation, case presentations or proposals will explore effective or promising practices that enable state health departments to support communities to handle crises effectively and equitably, emerge resilient, and smoothly enter the next normal.
  4. Not Racist is Not Enough: Journey towards Anti-Racism (May. 4, 11, 18, 25, 2021)
    • Subject Matter Expert/Strategist: Tiffany Pertillar
    • Innovation Team Facilitator: Sana Hashim
    • This GEAR Group will explore the frameworks and application of anti-racism to chronic disease prevention and health promotion and elucidate the distinction between anti-racism and “not racist.” The national awakening around racism, catalyzed by the 2020 death of George Floyd, has propelled many institutions and organizations, including health departments, on a journey toward becoming anti-racist. Case presentations or proposals will highlight efforts to elevate anti-racist work by chronic disease units and programs. 

Additional Information

For more information, please e-mail Sana Hashim.