Ford Elected Board Vice President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials

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WASHINGTON, DCThe National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has elected Sandra Elizabeth Ford, MD, MBA, District Health Director and Chief Executive Officer of the DeKalb County Board of Health and Interim District Health Director of Fulton County Board of Health, to its 2019-2020 Board of Directors as its new vice president. NACCHO is the voice of the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. As Board vice president, Dr. Ford will serve on the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee as vice president in 2019-2020 before assuming the positions of president-elect in 2020-2021 and president in 2021-2022, respectively.  Dr. Ford began her first term as an officer on July 1, 2019.

Said Dr. Ford, “I am both honored and excited to have been elected vice president of NACCHO, the premier organization for local public health! I’m looking forward to representing our members and working with the Board to continue to expand our public health footprint through partnerships and member engagement.  NACCHO provides critical advocacy and subject matter expertise to the local public health community, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to serve the members of this amazing organization.”

“NACCHO is pleased to see Dr. Ford’s progression on the Board to an officer position and member of the Executive Committee. Her local governmental public health leadership experience in Georgia, coupled with strong previous volunteerism in NACCHO, will benefit our organization significantly,” said NACCHO Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman.

About Dr. Ford

A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Ford has served as the District Health Director and Chief Executive Officer of the DeKalb County Board of Health since February 2005. She manages a diverse array of public health programs that serve over 730,000 people who live in the county, with is part of the metro Atlanta area.


Under Dr. Ford’s leadership, the DeKalb County Board of Health has successfully applied for more than $15 million in federal funds to address health disparities, including $5.6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to promote smoke-free environments, physical fitness and improved nutrition. More recently the agency received a Minority Youth Violence Prevention: Integrating Public Health and Community Policing Approaches grant from DHHS and the U.S. Department of Justice aimed at curbing violence and improving the health and well-being of underserved and distressed communities. The agency also recently received a Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Ford was asked to serve as the Acting Director of the Georgia Department of Community Health’s Division of Public Health during the agency’s reorganization in 2008, where she helped to develop statewide policies and legislation and enforce public health laws and regulations. Dr. Ford received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University, a medical degree from Howard University’s College of Medicine and a master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Services Administration from Howard University’s Graduate School of Business.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Ford has been a member of NACCHO since 2006 and has served on the Membership Committee for many years, first as a member and currently as its Chair.  In 2017, she was elected as an at-large member of NACCHO’s Board of Directors.

About NACCHO’s Board of Directors

NACCHO is governed by a 22-member board comprising local and tribal health officials who are elected by their peers. The Board also includes ex-officio members representing the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

As the governing body, NACCHO’s Board of Directors establishes the association’s  NACCHO’s strategic direction and initiatives, sets the annual legislative agenda, approves official policy statements, ensures that annual goals are met, and provides financial oversight. The Board is NACCHO’s public face, and represents members in matters of policy, public health practice, and collaboration with health partners in the public and private sectors.

NACCHO’s Board is led by four executive officers. In addition to Ford, this includes:

  • President George T. Roberts, Jr., MHA, FACHE; CEO, Northeast Texas Public Health District, TX
  • President-Elect Jennifer C. Kertanis, Director of Health, Farmington Valley Health District, CT
  • Past President, Kevin G. Sumner, MPH; Health Officer/Director, Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission, Green Brook, NJ

NACCHO’s full Board membership for the 2019-2020 term, including five newly-elected at-large board members, can be found here.