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NACDD Announces Annual Impact Award Recipients for 2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
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ATLANTA – The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is pleased to announce the winners of the Association’s annual Impact Awards. These awards reflect a small portion of the vital work of the many chronic disease practitioners in health departments in U.S. states and jurisdictions.

The awards for 2016 were presented to the following recipients:

Dr. Gabriel Kaplan who leads the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Branch at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, received the Legislative Action Award, given for excellence in influencing, proposing or implementing legislative policy. Dr. Kaplan oversees policy initiatives with state and local governments and is an expert in health system integration. He initiated a strategic planning process that broadened the distribution of $35 million in tobacco tax revenue to help sustain the impact of funded initiatives.

Gretchen Taylor received the Program Leadership Award for her work in nutrition, awarded for individual excellence in division leadership. Ms. Taylor directed the Minnesota Department of Health Nutrition program and led four National Institutes of Health-funded studies to increase fruit and vegetable consumption by elementary school students (5ADay Power Plus; 5ADay Cafeteria Power Plus) and by children in childcare centers (5ADay Preschool Power Plus) and to increase physical activity of American Indian students (Walk to Health for An Indian Children).

The Bureau of Community Health Services in Guam received the Division Excellence Award given for exceptional work by a chronic disease division. The bureau facilitates the Guam Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Consortium, which bridges local and global partners working on lifesaving initiatives. The impact of the Guam NCD Consortium prompted partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine to support unfunded priorities. The Guam Legislature took notice of the Guam NCD accomplishments and responded by providing $1 million to develop prevention strategies that also promote health equity. Today, more than 60 local organizations are members of the consortium.

Jess Harvat of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received the Health Communications Award, awarded for excellence and innovation in health campaigns or messaging, for his leadership for the state’s tobacco campaign. He led Colorado’s tobacco team and media contractors to effect real change among populations most impacted by tobacco. Mr. Harvat led the creation of two “retargeting” ad campaigns, using non-traditional approaches to break through to this audience and connect them with resources to quit smoking. While the campaign is new, initial results are impressive. Nearly 39,000 unique web users have participated, generating 30 million paid media impressions-metrics that far exceed industry standards.

 The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is a national, public health nonprofit, serving the health departments of all 50 states and U.S. territories working in chronic disease prevention and control and representing more than 6,000 members. For more information, please visit

Press Contact:

Margaret Gillan Ritchie, MS

(770) 458-7400 x 232