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NACDD Announces Winners of 2017 Impact Awards

Wednesday, August 23, 2017   (0 Comments)



CONTACT: Paige Rohe,, 470-809-0589


ATLANTA (Aug. 23, 2017) -- 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 many chronic disease practitioners in health departments across U.S. states, territories, and jurisdictions.


“Our Members work tirelessly in every state and U.S. territory to address the tremendous burden chronic diseases place on our communities, our economy, and our national security,” said NACDD CEO John Robitscher. “The Impact Awardees, selected by their peers, are a testament to some of the best work in public health and health promotion that is helping people to achieve healthier futures.”

We would like to recognize the following recipients for 2017: 


Laurie Schneider, deputy branch chief for the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, receives the Program Leadership Award for individual excellence in division leadership. Schneider currently oversees a budget of more than $20 million, which covers programmatic areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and healthy eating and active lifestyle. Under the department’s Healthy Hospital compact, more than 20 hospitals have pledged to improve breastfeeding support and reduce unhealthy food in institutional food service systems. In the last year, she has worked with numerous stakeholders to apply a health equity lens to public health practice.


Leslie Meehan receives the Joseph W. Cullen Excellence Award, given to an individual outside the traditional public health field who has made outstanding contributions in the field of chronic disease. Meehan is the director for the Office of Primary Prevention of the Tennessee Department of Health. She is the founder of the Field of Transportation and Health, and has helped influenced the Transportation Research Board and the Institute for Traffic Engineers to adopt public health priorities.


Harlan R. Juster, director, Bureau of Tobacco Control (lead); Stephanie Bourgeois, media specialist, Bureau of Marketing and Creative Communications; Lisa K. Kelly, health communications manager, Bureau of Tobacco Control; Kim Carlson-Murray, graphic designer, Bureau of Marketing and Creative Communications; Julie Wright, Bureau of Tobacco Control; Christina Ortega-Peluso, evaluation specialist, Bureau of Chronic Disease Evaluation and Research; Erin McCarthy, communications specialist, Bureau of Marketing and Creative Communications; and Stephanie Sheehan, associate director, Bureau of Tobacco Control, from the New York State Department of Health receive the Health Communications Award for excellence and innovation in health campaigns or messaging. The team’s campaign, “Leveraging the Public Health/Health Care Partnership: Increasing Cessation through Provider-Targeted Media,” created full-page, color print ads and placed them in eight medical/professional journals. The team also placed digital ads in 477 doctors’ offices and 84 medical office elevators. Bus shelters, phone kiosks, and urban panels outside of hospitals and medical offices were utilized to host additional ads., a website created for the campaign, received more than 110,000 views during the four-month campaign. Forty-three percent of surveyed providers reported seeing at least one out of the three campaigns and reported a high level of effectiveness.  


The New York State Department of Health’s Division of Chronic Disease Prevention  receives the Division Excellence Award given for exceptional work by a chronic disease division. Some of the division’s efforts include: grantees of Tobacco-Free NY, who worked with 25 medical health care systems and 23 mental health care systems to treat tobacco dependence; increased rates in colorectal cancer screenings; and adopted 87 nutrition policies in more than 170 schools through the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities Initiative. 


The Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of Public Health for the Louisiana Department of Health, receives the Community Impact Award for making a significant impact or achieving a significant influence in a community related to chronic disease prevention and control. The bureau has worked with internal and external partners to develop evidence-based wellness benchmarks for child care centers, schools, colleges/universities, worksites, restaurants, and hospitals. The benchmarks, which include adopting tobacco-free policies and providing more healthy options in cafeterias, help support and encourage policy, systems, and environmental change surrounding health behaviors. As a result of the developed benchmarks, the bureau’s Well-Ahead initiative has implemented more than 2,500 benchmarks.


Congratulations and thank you to the winners for their important and impactful work!


About the NACDD Impact Awards


NACDD’s annual Impact Awards provide those who work in the field of chronic disease with an opportunity to be recognized for best practices in chronic disease prevention and health promotion, and other contributions that go beyond public health. NACDD’s Awards Committee receives and reviews all nominations, and determines winners each summer, announcing them in the fall.


National Association of Chronic Disease Directors

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and its more than 6,500 members seek to improve the health of the public by strengthening leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states, territories, and at the national level. Established in 1988, in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NACDD is the only membership association of its kind serving and representing every state and U.S. territory’s chronic disease division.

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National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
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Decatur, GA 30030
Phone (770) 458-7400
Hours of Operation: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.



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