Are you interested in healthy, walkable communities? So is the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD)! The application period for the 4th Annual NACDD Walkability Action Institute (WAI) is now live on the NACDD’s website! The WAI will take place April 9-12, 2018 in Decatur, Georgia. Applications to participate are due by 11:59 pm EST on Friday, December 8th to Karma Harris (

The mission of the NACDD is to “improve the health of the public by strengthening state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states and at the national level.” The NACDD believes that all states and communities should be designed to support active transportation because, among other benefits, it can reduce long-term physical inactivity, which is a major risk factor for chronic diseases and a leading cause of conditions like heart disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, and type II diabetes.

To address this important issue, the NACDD collaborates and receives financial support from the CDC Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity for the WAI, a multi-day course for interdisciplinary teams of public health, transportation, planning, elected officials, and a variety of other disciplines to create more walkable communities. Led by Mark Fenton and a stellar team of health, transportation, engineering, and design experts, the course includes a variety of learning methods and incorporates both indoor and outdoor activities. Additionally, the WAI addresses inclusive design for people with disabilities and explores racial, ethnic, and “place” equity. NACDD tracks the outcomes achieved by alumni teams semi-annually and convenes ongoing Walkability Community of Practice groups bi-monthly. For more information about this exciting course, visit the NACCD website here!

Over the last three years, NACDD has selected a total of 32 interdisciplinary teams from 23 states to attend the course. These teams are producing amazing outcomes and have used this experience to leverage additional funding, support, and resources to make active living possible for millions of people. While it is too early to report on the 2017 teams, the teams from 2016 have leveraged more than $2 million to improve their communities since attending WAI and have achieved many policy, system, and environmental changes to support walkability!

This year, the NACDD hopes to provide travel assistance to eight additional interdisciplinary Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO; or regional equivalent) teams. To date, there have not been any teams from New Jersey. This is a great chance to represent New Jersey and work to make our state a healthier, more walkable community!

APPLY NOW to participate — deadline is 11:59 pm EST on Friday, December 8th to Karma Harris (! If you have questions about the WAI, please contact Karma Harris ( All questions will be updated every two business days in the FAQs document (available under Year 4) and reposted to the webpage.