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NACCHO Honors Chelsea Cipriano of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as the 2022 Advocate of the Year

Jul 20, 2022 | Theresa Spinner

“I am honored to be named NACCHO’s 2022 Advocate of the Year, and I accept this award on behalf of our amazing team at the NYC Health Department -- all of whom have worked tirelessly over the last two and half years on the COVID-19 response in addition to many other simultaneous and burgeoning public health issues,” said Chelsea Cipriano, Executive Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Washington, DC, July 20, 2022 — Today, as part of fulfilling its mission as the voice of local health departments, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments, named Chelsea Cipriano, MPH, Executive Director, Intergovernmental Affairs at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, its 2022 Advocate of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments related to advocacy and outreach to Members of Congress to create better health policy outcomes. Ms. Cipriano received the award at the organization’s 2022 NACCHO360 Annual Convention in Atlanta.

“I am honored to be named NACCHO’s 2022 Advocate of the Year, and I accept this award on behalf of our amazing team at the NYC Health Department -- all of whom have worked tirelessly over the last two and half years on the COVID-19 response in addition to many other simultaneous and burgeoning public health issues,” said Chelsea Cipriano, Executive Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Working in public health is hard. It’s multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary, and we often don’t see the results of our efforts for a long time. But we do it because our communities deserve our best efforts to keep them safe and healthy -- now and in the future. While not always easy, it is an immense honor to work across all levels of government, with community leaders and partners, towards more equitable health outcomes for all. Thank you for this award.”

“Lawmakers look to local leaders to inform their work—and public health policy and funding decisions are no exception,” said NACCHO’s Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman. “A successful advocate develops meaningful relationships with Members of Congress and their staffs and becomes a trusted messenger and resource on public health matters. We applaud the work of Chelsea Cipriano and her team at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who have done just that -- be a strong advocate for the policies and resources local health departments need to keep our communities healthy and safe.

As the lead city representative working with Congress and their staff, Ms. Cipriano has brought the visibility and value of governmental public health entities to the forefront of federal policy. In her role, Ms. Cipriano has led the agency’s policy and regulatory advocacy platform, and she oversees legislative and budget negotiations at city, state and federal levels. While managing a team of staff, she has also served as a leader on the city’s COVID-19 and monkeypox incident command structures. She speaks frequently during public townhalls, briefings, and events about COVID-19 vaccines, the nation’s first sanctioned overdose prevention centers, and other urgent public health topics that arise. In her role as liaison between the City’s Vaccine Command Center and members of the public, including elected officials, Ms. Cipriano worked to ensure broad understanding of issues related to access to and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines, and she advised on federal and international policy advocacy. She has worked on various other topics throughout her career with the city, including the 2019 measles outbreak, tobacco control policies, and the city’s Lead Free NYC initiative. She has held roles in public health at multiple levels of government, including with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Ms. Cipriano has participated as the New York City representative during NACCHO’s Capitol Hill Day meetings with Members of Congress for several years, during which she has supported NACCHO’s advocacy priorities. Additionally, in 2022, she led meetings with both Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand’s staff to highlight the need for public health workforce loan repayment programs, a key NACCHO advocacy priority, predictable and sustained infrastructure funding for local health departments, support for overdose prevention centers, the PREVENT Pandemics Act, and support for passing the Build Back Better with a childcare tax credit.

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About NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.


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About Theresa Spinner

Theresa Spinner is the Director, Media and Public Relations at NACCHO.

More posts by Theresa Spinner

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