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The Impact Brief is the official newsletter for the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. It is distributed monthly to approximately 4,800 NACDD members, partners, and stakeholders. You can view NACDD's Impact Brief archive here:


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NACDD Arthritis Program Connects with More than 17,000 Practicing and Future Physical Therapists at the 2018 APTA Combined Sections Meeting

Posted By Heather Murphy and Natasha McCoy, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors’ (NACDD) Arthritis Initiative is in year two of a five-year collaborative project working with physical therapists (PTs) nationwide to increase awareness, enrollment, and completion rates for the Walk With Ease (WWE) Self-Directed intervention. As part of continued efforts to recruit PTs, Natasha McCoy, NACDD Senior Public Health Consultant, staffed a NACDD exhibit booth at the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting, held Feb. 21-24, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana. McCoy showcased materials from the Arthritis Physical Therapist Marketing project, a former NACDD effort coordinated with CDC Arthritis and partners, in addition to promoting the $4,000 grant opportunity for APTA state chapters and PT clinics. The APTA Marketing project concluded with development of a toolkit of materials, specifically for physical therapists and their patients, addressing six arthritis appropriate evidence-based interventions showing proven ability to help reduce the burden of arthritis. This year’s APTA Combined Sections Meeting planners celebrated an attendance of more than 17,000 PTs, PT assistants, and PT students. As described by CDC, the WWE intervention was developed by the University of North Carolina for the Arthritis Foundation as a way to encourage people with arthritis to start walking and stay motivated to keep active. WWE helps people learn to walk safely and develop the habit of walking regularly. While walking is the central activity, WWE is a multi-component program that includes health education, strengthening and stretching exercises, and motivational strategies. The WWE group class is offered throughout the United States and is moderated by certified instructors. The WWE self-guided format offers similar instruction through guidebook available for purchase online on the Arthritis Foundation webpage. WWE is best suited for people with arthritis who want to increase their physical activity levels, and are able to stand on their feet for at least 10 minutes without increased pain. The program may also be appropriate for people with other chronic conditions—such as diabetes and heart disease—who want to be more active. Program participants can include current and past patients who would benefit from a walking program. More information about WWE and self-directed support tools are available online. For more information about the WWE Mini-Grant Opportunity for Physical Therapists, please contact Natasha McCoy at

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Practitioners Can Attend GEAR:UP to Learn More About Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Posted By Jeanne Alongi, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors’ Public Health Leadership & Practice is proud to sponsor GEAR:UP (Understanding Publications), a journal club for chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Practitioners interested in learning more about leadership and management best practices, and how the practices might be applied to our work in public health will benefit from the club. GEAR:UP is held every third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. ET. Articles and podcasts for discussion are selected from the peer-reviewed literature such as Preventing Chronic Disease and the American Journal of Public Health, and mainstream media such as the Harvard Business Review. For information how to participate, contact Tamara Engel at

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Save the Date for YMCA of the USA Community Integrated Health Conference

Posted By Paige Rohe, Monday, January 22, 2018

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Community Integrated Health Conference, presented by the YMCA of the USA and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dec. 10-12, 2018, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. This year's theme is, "Bridging Community and Healthcare." 

The conference is a special opportunity for the public health community to convene and discuss ways to connect the traditional health care system and community-based organizations to help all community members live their healthiest lives.

Together, attendees will explore the growing field of community integrated health, the value of community-based organizations in health care, and how to create more seamless integration between the health care system and community-based health interventions.

All sectors with an interest in public health are invited to attend.  Sign up to receive email alerts for the latest information on early bird registration, speakers, travel/accommodations, and agendas. Email any questions or comments to


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CDC FY18 Funding for Improving Student Health and Academic Achievement through Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Management of Chronic Conditions

Posted By MaryCatherine Jones, Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP18-1801, Improving Student Health and Academic Achievement through Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Management of Chronic Conditions in Schools. This notice of funding opportunity is limited to state governments, specifically, state education agencies. Approximately $7 million per year is available. The period of performance is five years with a 12-month budget period and an anticipated start date of June 30, 2018. The purpose of this project is to: (1) Increase the number of students who consume nutritious food and beverages; (2) Increase the number of students who participate in daily physical education and physical activity; and (3) Increase the number of students who can effectively manage their chronic health conditions. For more information, visit and search for CDC-RFA-DP18-1801. 

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Evidence-Based Pediatric Healthy Weight Management Programs: The MEND Experience

Posted By Leslie Best, Thursday, January 18, 2018

The CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity is collaborating with the NACDD to provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and to share information among state health departments, public health practitioners, health care providers, clinician researchers, community organizations, and others that are working to increase the utilization of evidence-based healthy weight management programs for children with obesity. This series of webinars will serve as a forum for discussion about effective strategies to engage health care providers, develop sustainability plans, monitor success, share lessons learned and the role of nontraditional partners. The first webinar is scheduled for Monday Feb. 5, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET, and will include a presentation of the MEND program (Mind, Excercise, Nutrition… Do It!) and a description of its implementation in a community health center. 

Learn more about the
Healthy Weight Partnership

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State Health Departments Selected for 2018 Advanced Thematic GIS Training

Posted By MaryCatherine Jones, Thursday, January 18, 2018

NACDD congratulates Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin for their selection as participants in the 2018 Advanced Thematic GIS Training for State Health Departments: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Address Blood Pressure Medication Adherence.

Two representatives of each health department’s Domain 3 medication adherence work will participate in a 10-day, intensive GIS training, including 2.5 days of in-person training at Rice University in Houston, TX in 2018. The training curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of state health departments working on blood pressure medication adherence and was piloted in April 2017.

GIS are computer-based systems that allow users to analyze and display geographically referenced data. Training participants will develop maps useful in highlighting and addressing the blood pressure medication adherence needs in their respective communities. These projects will address four key areas related to blood pressure medication adherence: 

1) Documenting existing geographic disparities in blood pressure medication adherence;
2) Identifying gaps in clinical, community, and public health services that are important for supporting blood pressure medication adherence;
3) Providing a basis for informing programs and policies related to blood pressure medication adherence; and
4) Enhancing existing partnerships and facilitating new partnerships among pharmacists, physicians, hospitals, public health clinics, community health workers, and other health systems and health care organizations. 

Learn more by visiting NACDD’s GIS webpage

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National Mentorship Program in Applied Chronic Disease Epidemiology Concludes 7th Year Supporting State and Local Epidemiologists

Posted By Natasha McCoy, Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thanks to generous funding from the CDC Division of Population Health, NACDD celebrates the conclusion of a seventh year advancing applied chronic disease epidemiology capacity among newly-hired and junior-level epidemiologists and evaluators working in state and local health departments.

2017 mentees and their project focus areas are as follows:

  • Asra Khalid, BS, MPH, Epidemiologist I, and Donald Perry, Epidemiologist, representing the Tennessee Department of Health: Assessing Association Between Built Environment and Obesity or Physical Inactivity

  • Nhan Nguyen, MPH, Epidemiologist, Cook County Department of Public Health, representing Illinois: Web Data Portal for a Local Health Department

  • Ami Sedani, MPH, Surveillance Coordinator, representing the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services: Using Maps to Inform Program Design and Evaluation

  • Allison Verbyla, MPH, Public Health Analyst II, representing the Vermont Department of Health, Division of Health Surveillance: Burden of Cancer in Vermont Communities 

The 2017 mentors included: Dr. Agricola Odoi, University of Tennessee at Knoxville; Dr. Ann Pobutsky, University of Hawai’i at Manoa; Dr. Ghazala Perveen and Dr. Ericka Welsh, representing the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

Mentees and mentors received travel support to the attend the 2017 NACDD Chronic Disease Academy in St. Louis, MO.

NACDD will complete selection of four new mentees and four mentors for the 2018 mentoring program cohort by Jan. 31. 

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NACDD Issue Brief: Massachusetts Health Systems Change to Control Hypertension

Posted By Susan Svencer, Thursday, January 18, 2018

During the June 2017 fireside chat, Massachusetts shared information on its approach to managing hypertension through health systems change. NACDD prepared an Issue Brief on this critical topic to provide additional context and information about the collaboration between the MA Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, including their capacity assessment process, data-driven technical assistance and quality improvement, and use of the data reporting and visualization system to deliver feedback to clinical sites. You can view other Issue Briefs on NACDD’s website.  

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Pharmacists are Valued Partners in Diabetes Prevention and Control

Posted By Trina Thompson, Thursday, January 18, 2018

State health departments are increasingly seizing the opportunity to work with pharmacists to prevent and control chronic diseases, including prediabetes and diabetes. In addition to conducting screening and making referrals, community pharmacists work in a unique space as healthcare providers, seeing and counseling patients directly and frequently in their own communities. The Connector, a quarterly newsletter produced by the diabetes practice area at NACDD, featured a story about partnering with community pharmacists in the November issue. The story covers the challenges of reimbursement for pharmacists and includes how health departments in Colorado, Missouri, and Wisconsin work with pharmacists in their states to expand diabetes self-management education and the National Diabetes Prevention Program. You also can learn more about CDC resources to engage pharmacists in The Connector newsletter. To receive The Connector, contact Susan Lopez-Payan

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Older Adults with Vision Impairment Report Greater Prevalence of Chronic Disease

Posted By Carol McPhillips Tangum, Thursday, January 18, 2018

NACDD partners at the CDC Vision Health Initiative recently conducted a study exploring the prevalence of chronic conditions among persons aged 65 years and older in the United States with and without vision impairment. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, they examined 13 chronic conditions while controlling for factors such as age, race, education, smoking status, physical activity, and obesity. The researchers found that people with vision impairment were more likely than those without vision impairment to report having hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, weak or failing kidneys, diabetes, hepatitis, depression, or hearing impairment. In addition, older adults with chronic conditions were nearly three times as likely to report having fair or poor health as compared to older adults without vision impairment.

These results suggest that the topic of vision impairment and chronic conditions merits further attention to understand the disparity and magnitude of the problems, the pathways that prompt disparities, and potential strategies to improve overall health among those who experience both vision impairment and chronic conditions. NACDD is currently supporting three states (Alabama, Nebraska, and Ohio) to better understand the impact of vision impairment and to identify effective strategies for improving the lives of those with vision impairment. 

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