President’s Challenge FY 2021

A Message from Dr. Susan Kansagra


A Call to Action for Chronic Disease Directors to Advance Racial Equity

Susan Kansagra, MD, MBA
Susan Kansagra, MD, MBA, NACDD Board President

Closing racial and ethnic disparities has been a long focus of NACDD and chronic disease programs. Addressing the root causes of these disparities is necessary to make progress as a country and as a field of public health.

We are seeing the devastating impact of inequities in our society unfold in this moment, as we see COVID-19 hospitalization and case rates many times higher in Latinx, Black, and Native American/Indigenous communities.

These disparities and others remind us that we have much work ahead of us. As we work upstream to address root causes through policy, systems, and environmental changes, we must redouble our efforts to dismantle structural racism and create equitable communities where all have the opportunity to live a healthy life.

This year the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors added important new goals to its strategic map. The strategic map establishes NACDD priorities and drives action by the Board of Directors, consultants, and staff to promote these priorities with our Members.

This map shows the Association’s strategy for FY 2021.

These new goals include an overarching strategic priority to advance racial equity as a core component of our work as State Chronic Disease Programs.

"As we work upstream to address root causes through policy, systems, and environmental changes, we must redouble our efforts to dismantle structural racism and create equitable communities where all have the opportunity to live a healthy life."

Dr. Susan Kansagra, NACDD Board President Tweet

As President of the NACDD’s Board of Directors, I have called upon all Chronic Disease Directors to help advance the strategic priority of racial equity for NACDD and as collective State Chronic Disease Programs.

Specifically, I have asked each State Chronic Disease Director to choose two actions from the “Action Steps to Advance Racial Equity as a Core Component of State Chronic Disease Programs” so we can collectively create and share the impact our work has had.

For each of these actions, NACDD will provide tools and resources to support implementation.

Former Board President Monica Morales looks on as Board President Dr. Susan Kansagra speaks with Dr. Bala Murugan about policy initiatives for NACDD in a conference room. They are holding papers and gesturing with their hands.
Former Board President Monica Morales looks on as Board President Dr. Susan Kansagra speaks with Dr. Bala Murugan about policy initiatives for NACDD during the 2019 Board of Directors Meeting in Portland, Ore.

So far, several Chronic Disease Directors and their states have risen to the challenge. We will be sharing their goals and achievements in the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, it is more important than ever to be intentional in our words and actions to advance racial equity in health outcomes. I hope all NACDD Members will join me in doing so.

Thank you in advance for your support and commitment

View and download the educational PowerPoint presentation Chronic Disease Directors can use
to inform teams about racial and health equity.