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Meet Karma Edwards, NACDD Consultant

Posted By Margaret G. Ritchie, Monday, October 31, 2016

Karma Edwards was a community grantee funded by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors in 2008. While she worked on NACDD’s ACHIEVE project, she received technical assistance and guidance from the association.  

Following her work as a community grantee, Edwards had the opportunity to join NACDD’s ACHIEVE team in a part-time role in spring 2011. The position turned from part time to temporary full time, and then Edwards became full time for the remainder of the project. 

“It was an easy decision to join their [NACDD] team in 2011 after having worked with them on the local level for a few years and knowing first hand how great they were and how passionate this team was about the Healthy Communities work,” Edwards said. 

She received her Bachelor of Science in health promotion from Appalachian State University and a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Edwards’ education and prior experience helps her in her day-to-day responsibilities as a consultant for NACDD.

“My niche has always been in community health and with the Healthy Communities movement,” she said. “When coming to the NACDD ACHIEVE team, I believe I brought the community perspective with me. This was an added value to our team since I had participated in the project as a grantee.”  

Edwards manages fiscal and programmatic oversight of two large projects. Her other duties as a NACDD consultant include working with NACDD staff and consultants to implement and accomplish project deliverables. 

“The aspect that I always look forward to as an NACDD consultant is working with the other consultants,” Edwards said. “I believe we have some of the most professional, passionate, and outstanding subject matter experts in the country, and my interaction with them makes me a better professional and person on a daily basis. I am grateful and humbled to be part of such a great group of folks.”

She is currently leading NACDD’s Walkability Action Institute project and the Disabilities and Healthy Communities project. According to Edwards, the Walkability Action Institute provides travel assistance to interdisciplinary teams to attend a multi-day action institute course. The course teaches attendees to promote and build active, walkable communities through the improvement of policy, system and environmental changes. Once the course ends, the teams develop and implement an action plan. NACDD and CDC monitor the outcomes accomplished through each team’s plan.

The Disability and Healthy Communities project funds Disability and Health programs in five states and 10 local communities. The selected programs will make healthy choices readily available in areas where people live, learn, work, pray, play and receive care while focusing on disability inclusion. 

When Edwards isn’t working, she is spending time with her wife and family. They own three dogs – Sadie, Monkey and Zoey Maggs – who have them “wrapped around their little paws.” She loves to swim, bike or run around town whenever she has time, even when she is traveling for work. She just finished her 10th Ironman triathlon.

“I think my passion for physical activity and active lifestyles meshes well with my work niche because I do my job of community design and improvement through the lens of a biker and a runner,” Edwards said. “The changes that I get to help make in my work world ultimately make me safer in my other worlds.”

 

Tags:  Consultants  Karma Edwards  NACDD  National Association of Chronic Disease Directors  Public health 

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