National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Announces 2009 Award Winners at Annual Chronic Disease Academy

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The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) proudly announced the recipients of its annual awards at the NACDD Awards Ceremony and Banquet in Orlando, FL.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) proudly announced the recipients of its annual awards at the NACDD Awards Ceremony and Banquet in Orlando, FL.

"These awards enable us to recognize the outstanding individuals and organizations who have made a positive impact in the lives of their colleagues and those struggling to live with chronic diseases," said John Robitscher, MPH, NACDD Executive Director. "We are glad to spotlight their important contributions to NACDD and to the prevention and management of chronic disease."

The Joseph W Cullen Award was given to Roy Ropers, Former Chairman, Wisconsin Lions Diabetes Focus Group. The award is given to an individual outside the traditional public health field who has made exceptional contributions in a specific chronic disease area. Mr. Ropers has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about diabetes in both state and community groups, participating in the rollout of no less than 22 diabetes education programs held in 11 communities across Wisconsin. He has served for many years as a member of the Wisconsin Diabetes Prevention and Control Program's (DPCP) Diabetes Advisory Group and led collaboration between the Lion's Club and the Wisconsin DPCP on several initiatives, including the development of an educational DVD for people with diabetes: "Protect Your Vision: The Dilated Eye Exam." The DVD is now available in 15 states and six foreign countries, with 25,000 copies distributed across Wisconsin.

The Award for Excellence in the Prevention and Control of Chronic Disease, given to an individual in the field of public health who has provided distinguished service and the "advancement of knowledge and practice in reducing" the impact of chronic disease, was presented to Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD, Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Under Dr. Zhu's leadership, the California Smoker's hotline was established in 1990 as a one-county pilot program. It has since spread to reach English, Spanish and Asian-speaking smokers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as five US Territories and has received almost 2.4 million calls nationwide. The program now includes support for teens, pregnant women, chew tobacco users and has increased calls from veterans in California, a typically hard-to-reach population. The hotline has sparked the establishment of quit lines throughout Canada, Europe, Austria, New Zealand, Asia and Latin America.

This year's recipient of the Public Policy Award was Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods, a coalition in Shawnee County, Kansas, that since 2007 has spearheaded the passage of several public policy actions, including a ½ cent Sales Tax to fund the Fix Our Streets initiative, adoption of a Clean Indoor Air Ordinance and acceptance of a Complete Streets Resolution. The award recognizes an organization or coalition that has been effective in promoting policy change that reduces the chronic disease burden on a national, state, or local level.

The Program Delivery Award recognizes an organization or coalition that has developed and implemented a program which has shown to reduce the burden of chronic disease through sound epidemiologic data. The award was presented to Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, which has reduced the burden of oral health disease in some of the poorest communities in its state. For example, in a school district where almost 30 percent of children came to school with untreated dental decay, the Center sent dental hygienists into schools to provide preventative care. Recent screening data shows that 51 percent of these children now have sealants - one of the few counties in the state that exceed the Healthy People 2010 goal of 50 percent - and missing classroom time has been reduced.

Finally, the Outstanding Leadership Award was given to Michael D. Byrd, MSW, MPH, PhD, LMSW, Director of the South Carolina Bureau of Community Health and Chronic Disease Prevention. The award is reserved for a member of the NACDD Board of Directors whose leadership has increased the effectiveness of the Association. As Chair of the Finance Committee and Issues Committee, Dr. Byrd encouraged dialogue, interaction, and healthy debate - strengthening communication between board members and councils. As a result of his efforts as representative on the Ad-hoc Council and Interest Group Structure Committee, there is now a simplified structure for NACDD's constituent groups to qualify as a Council. In addition, there is also now a protocol in place to review the work of the Councils, which will be pilot tested in the spring.

About the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD)

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) is a national public health association for chronic disease program directors of each state and U.S. territory. The NACDD works to reduce the impact of chronic diseases on the American population by advocating for preventive policies and programs, encouraging sharing of knowledge and developing partnerships for health promotion.


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