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Member Feedback on the Leadership Group:

“The Diabetes Council provides organized opportunities to connect with and learn from diabetes programs in other states via conference calls, webinars, sharing lessons and outputs.”

“Networking across the country enhances motivation for the work. You are not alone, others are having the same issues and concerns. Helps us find common solutions to achieve better outcomes.”

“It helps to put faces to names and on the work, personalizes the work. It connects states/territories to CDC. It becomes national work rather than a single state’s effort.”

Workgroups and Support
The Diabetes Council has two dynamic workgroups to support state health department staff in their diabetes prevention and control work. Serving on a workgroup is open to all state health department staff working on diabetes efforts and is an excellent way to learn more about the activities of the Diabetes Council and network with colleagues from other states. Workgroups are led by co-chairs who are elected by Diabetes Council members to serve on the Diabetes Council Leadership Group (info below).

Professional Development Workgroup
This workgroup identifies expert speakers and designs webinars to support Diabetes Council members. The workgroup meets monthly by teleconference. If you are interested in joining, contact Tiffany Pertillar to learn more at
Click here for the teleconference schedule and archive of past presentations.

Mentoring Workgroup
The purpose of this workgroup is to provide opportunities for staff in health departments to learn and share and connect with one another. This workgroup coordinates the peer to peer program and learning community calls:

Peer-to-Peer Program
This program pairs experienced staff with new state staff working on diabetes and/or cardiovascular efforts in order to build capacity via a friendly, small group relationship. Guides and learners meet by phone and discuss topics of their choice. This workgroup is open to staff in any position (chronic disease director, communications manager, operations manager, epidemiologist, evaluator, etc.). If you would like to be a guide or learner, or for more information about participating, contact Tiffany Pertillar at

Learning Community
Do you have a burning question but don’t know who to ask? The Learning Community was created as a way to bring guides and learners from the peer to peer program together in an informal manner to share and discuss issues that might benefit from group interaction. The Learning Community is now open to all and is a risk-free, casual forum for participants to converse and ask questions of each other. Calls are every other month and are facilitated on a rotating basis by staff from state health departments. Participation is optional and the group usually has from 10-20 participants. Contact Tiffany Pertillar to learn more at
Add information about the learning community calls and schedule?

Health Systems Epidemiology and Evaluation Collaborative
The NACDD also hosts an Epidemiology & Evaluation Collaborative (EEC) focused on 1305 and 1422. 

Leadership Group
The Diabetes Council's various liaison positions provide opportunities for greater synergy within NACDD and engage state members and partners with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experience. The full leadership group member list appears below.

Who is Eligible to Serve on the Diabetes Council Leadership Group?
Any fulltime or part-time State Health Department (SHD) staff or contractor who has worked on diabetes efforts for at least 2 years is eligible to be nominated or to self-nominate. Any position (chronic disease director, communications manager, operations manager, epidemiologist, evaluator, etc.) is eligible to serve. Those with leadership skills or the desire to learn and cultivate leadership skills are needed.

Function and Roles of Diabetes Council Leadership Group

  • Serve in advisory role to NACDD and CDC on state public health perspective on diabetes prevention and control
  • Provide mechanism for engagement of state public health staff and input on NACDD’s programs, services, and priorities, and emerging issues to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public health diabetes prevention and control programs, and enhance professional development of the members in order to improve the health of the nation
  • Identify gaps and opportunities in national partnerships that would support state public health diabetes activities
  • Solicit and provide feedback through NACDD to CDC and from CDC to NACDD (proactive and reactive)
  • Perform proactive role in prioritizing diabetes strategic vision and priorities that align with NACDD strategic vision and goals
  • Explore and engage in opportunities to create synergy in work with Domain 2 (environmental approaches) and Domain 3 (health systems)
  • Recruit and engage members for the Diabetes Council
  • Ensure all members feel welcome and that leadership group is inclusive and represents all members

Diabetes Council Leadership Group Members


Name (State)



Executive Team


Laura Heinrich (IN)

1 year

Chair Elect

Pam Geis (WI)

1 year

Past Chair

April Reese (NC)

1 year


Workgroup Co-Chairs

Professional Development Workgroup Co-Chair

Robin Edelman (VT),

1 year

Professional Development Workgroup Co-Chair

Marisa Lara (NH)

2 year

Mentoring Workgroup Co-Chair

Dietrich Taylor (MS)

1 year

Mentoring Workgroup Co-Chair

Allison Smith (GA)

2 year


Liaisons- Liaisons are part of the Leadership Group and participate in other initiatives within the NACDD and provide leadership, initiate movement and share information on emerging issues, complementary practices and mutually beneficial opportunities. 

Liaison to the NACDD Professional Development Forum

Margie Franzen-Weiss (NV)

1 year

Liaison to the NACDD Government Affairs Forum

Shana Scott (GA)

2 year

Act on Data Liaison to the NACDD Epidemiology/Evaluation Collaborative

Brenda Ralls (UT)

1 year

Liaison to the NACDD Board Note: Nominee must be a current NACDD Board member.

Judith Gabriele (NM)


2 year

Liaison to CVH Network Leadership Team

Jane Myers (ND)

2 year

Liaison to School Health Council


1 year


Liaison to Health Equity Council


2 year



CDC Representatives

Robert Hancock

Pat Schumacher


NACDD Consultants

Ann Forburger

Trish Herrmann

Marti Macchi

Susan Lopez-Payan

Tiffany Pertillar
Trina Thompson

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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
2200 Century Parkway, Suite 250
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone (770) 458-7400
Fax (770) 458-7401


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