Partnering for the Future

July 2023 Impact Brief CEO Message

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking about NACDD’s work at Morehouse School of Medicine and Good Days’ Chronic Disease Day Symposium held annually in recognition of Chronic Disease Day, July 10. The symposium highlighted the need to foster strong partnerships and advocate for policy solutions and more funding to increase access to care and build healthier communities. It was a wonderful event that I hope we can build upon with new partnerships.

In fact, partnerships are the backbone of our work at NACDD! Our Walkability Action Institute (WAI) (funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity) is a prime example of many groups and organizations collaborating to create effective changes in diverse communities. We recently held another successful action institute in Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, a trio of islands that comprise the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The project brought together interdisciplinary CNMI community partners and organizations to develop action plans to create a safer, and more walkable, and movable built environment for all people within the CNMI. (Read an article about the CNMI WAI.)

The WAI curriculum emphasizes disability inclusion, another area where we benefit significantly in our partnerships with organizations such as the Lakeshore Foundation. These partnerships support and inform NACDD’s disability inclusion work in many forms (e.g., inclusive National DPP curriculum and online module development; training and education through webinars and discussion groups; and resource dissemination). In recognition of Disability Pride Month this July, we collaborated with Lakeshore Foundation to publish a blog and raise awareness on our social media channels (Facebook and LinkedIn). (Learn more about how you can become a stronger disability ally.)

All communities should be designed to support physical activity and non-motorized forms of transportation so that people can have the policy, system, and environmental (PSE) supports needed to engage in active lifestyles, whether recreationally or through daily routines like commuting to and from work, community destinations, and/or places of interest. 

In June, we hosted a congressional briefing in Washington, DC to educate policymakers on why prioritizing physical activity, nutrition, and other risk factors is vital to tackling this epidemic of chronic diseases and improving the health and well-being of future generations. Speakers from CDC, Alaska Department of Health, and Hawaii State Department of Health provided an overview the critical role of federal funding in enabling state-level programs and policies that address physical activity and nutrition. NACDD continues to advocate for additional funding for the CDC’s State Physical Nutrition and Activity Program to ensure all states and territories have federal support. Moving forward, NACDD will continue to strengthen its commitment to the White House Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, as the pillars of this work tie directly to our current mission and much of the programmatic work in the Center for Advancing Healthy Communities.

This is just a small snapshot of the activities NACDD has been engaged in this month. As we continue to raise general awareness of preventive measures and the social determinants of health and advocate for policies and greater investment in public health programs, I hope you’ll join us in this mission or invite a colleague to become a Member of NACDD. It will take all of us to reach our vision of a world where all people reach their full health potential, free from the burdens of chronic disease.

Careers at NACDD

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