DPH Director Joins the National Association of Chronic Disease Board of Directors

November 10, 2014

Jean O’Connor, JD, M.P.H., DrPH, chronic disease prevention director for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), was recently appointed as a new board member for the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), a national organization dedicated to reducing chronic diseases and their associated risk factors through state and community-based prevention strategies. She will serve as a board member with NACDD through October 2016.

NACDD was founded in 1988 and is a non-profit public health organization that provides chronic disease program directors access to policy development, funding, data and partnership information. Through its education and training opportunities, NACDD provides more than 3,000 chronic disease practitioners support for managing chronic disease programs that utilize the resources and insights of a wide variety of federal, scientific, public and private organizations.

“I look forward to gaining new knowledge that will enhance the work of Georgia’s chronic disease prevention efforts as well as contributing the unique perspectives and insights I’ve gained while leading the Department of Public Health’s chronic disease prevention team,” said Dr. O’Connor. “By engaging with public health experts and leaders from across the nation, I believe we will successfully increase the reach and effectiveness of the statewide public health programs we’ve created to promote healthier behaviors among all Georgians.”

Dr. O’Connor brings nearly 20 years of experience to her role as DPH’s chronic disease prevention director. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of programs related to cancer prevention, tobacco cessation, adolescent health and asthma.

She started her career in public health as an emergency medical technician and also conducted research in the Emergency Department at Grady Hospital. That experience taught her firsthand about the role of systems and environments on health status, and she pursued her law degree and masters of public health at Emory University and then her doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prior to joining DPH in 2013, Dr. O’Connor served as a state deputy health director and a health insurance policy advisor, as well as a health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working on policy and strategy issues across multiple organizations. For the past decade, she has taught public health law and policy at the Rollins School of Public Health.

To learn more about NACDD and its work to reduce chronic illnesses in the United States, visit http://www.chronicdisease.org

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