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Meet our Staff

Sarah Ravenhall, MHA, CHES Executive Director

Sarah is your key liaison at NYSACHO for all association activities.  She supports the organizational needs of the Board, President and Vice President, committees and other governance and support units of the membership, provides administrative leadership and fiscal management for all NYSACHO grant and association activities.  She serves as the key contact with the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Association of Counties, academic partners, including the federally funded Region 2 Public Health Training Center, and other state agencies and statewide organizations.  Sarah represents NYSACHO on a number of statewide coalitions.  She is NYSACHO’s registered lobbyist and is the main point of contact on all advocacy issues with the Legislature and Governor’s office.  Sarah also represents NYSACHO with NACCHO and works with other SACCHOs to share best practices and advocate on federal issues. Sarah joined NYSACHO in 2017.

Sarah's Responsibilities

Members should contact Sarah first about:

  • Association governance, finance and organizational development
  • Grant activities
  • Policy and advocacy issues
  • Public health leadership efforts
  • Suggestions for improvement to NYSACHO’s member services

Sarah's Back-up

Sarah’s primary back-up is the NYSACHO team. In Sarah’s absence, Cristina is in charge; when both are unavailable, contact Robert.

Cristina Dyer-Drobnack, MS Program Director

Cristina’s primary responsibilities include coordination of the association’s core grant activities and support for association advocacy work.  She plays a lead role in the development, planning, direction and supervision of education and public health leadership programs for all local health officials and LHD staff.  Cristina also provides technical assistance to local health departments on state public health statute and regulations and legislative tracking and analysis.  She is the lead staff person assigned to NYSACHO’s, Finance/Admin and Environmental Health Committees and the main contact for all subject matter committees’ advocacy work.  Cristina joined the NYSACHO team in 1994.

Cristina's Responsibilities

Members should contact Cristina first about:

  • Member meeting content/topics
  • Finance/Admin, Environmental Health committee related topics
  • Home Care/Home Visiting (CHHA/LHCSA) related topics
  • Technical assistance regarding state laws, regulations, proposed legislative or regulatory changes
  • Information on state budgets and legislation (proposed or enacted)
  • Program information regarding the Annual Public Health Summit for Commissioners and Public Health Directors and New Commissioners/Directors orientation (when offered)
  • Public health leadership and development contract related deliverables, events and meetings
  • Advocacy and other content on or for the NYSACHO web site and Facebook page
  • Campaign to ImmuNYze All New Yorkers website, social media and print materials content

Cristina's Back-up

Cristina’s primary back-up for program issues is Robert Viets. Her primary back-up for event logistics is Patterson Schackne.

Robert Viets Program Director

Robert is NYSACHO’s primary professional staff contact for NYSACHO’s Immunization Grant activities, including the management and planning for all Immunization-related educational activities and meetings.  Robert is the primary professional staff contact for NYSACHO’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness contract program activities. Robert serves as lead staff person for NYSACHO’s Disease Control and Emerging Issues Committees on non-advocacy related matters.  Robert joined the NYSACHO team in 2006.

Robert's Responsibilities

Members should contact Robert first about:

  • Disease Control and Emerging Issues Committee related topics
  • Immunization activities and events
  • Informatics and other collaborative projects with NYSDOH
  • Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants/activities
  • Web site content for Programs, Calendar of Events, Job Postings and Member Resources
  • Technical difficulties encountered when accessing the NYSACHO web site
  • NYSACHO Committee lists and involvement

Robert's Back-up

Robert’s primary back-up for program issues is Cristina Dyer-Drobnack.  His primary back-up for event logistics and registration is Patterson Schackne.

Molly Fleming, MPH Program and Member Engagement Coordinator

Molly serves as the primary liaison with County Health Officials and their staff for any member inquiries or questions related to NYSACHO. She plays a key role in encouraging member engagement, creating a weekly membership newsletter, and facilitating membership and partner meetings. She also provides support services to LHDs, assists with social media and communications, and provides general administrative support. She is the lead staff person for Early Intervention matters and facilitates Early Intervention meetings and calls. Molly joined the NYSACHO team in 2019.

Molly's Responsibilities

Members should contact Molly first about:

  • Early Intervention related topics
  • Early Intervention calls and meetings
  • Suggestions for the Weekly Web Digest

Molly's Back-up

Molly's primary back-up for program issues is Cristina Dyer-Drobnack and Robert Viets. Her primary back-up for event logistics is Patterson Schackne.

Kathryn Simpson, MPH, CHES Program Manager

Kathryn is the Climate Change Program Manager at NYSACHO. She is responsible for assisting Local Health Departments in strengthening their individual and collective capacity in climate adaptation efforts. Kathryn is the lead coordinator of regional adaptation meetings on climate and health adaptation and serves as the liaison with NYSDOH and other contract agencies on implementation of program activities. On a mission to improve population health, Kathryn is focused on policy, systems, and environmental change to address social determinants of health and improve health equity. Kathryn joined the NYSACHO team in 2020.

Kathryn's Responsibilities

Members should contact Kathryn first about:

  • Participation in pre-workshop planning calls
  • Climate adaptation references and resources
  • Climate adaptation workshop location and details
  • Participation in post-workshop technical assistance calls

Kathryn's Back-up

Kathryn's primary back-up for program issues is Cristina Dyer-Drobnack and Robert Viets.

Peggy DiManno, BSN, MS Special Project Executive

Peggy is the contact person you should call for questions and information about several of the special projects/grants of NYSACHO, including the Region 2 Public Health Training Center for the NYS local performance site.  Peggy also serves as lead expert on Public Health Accreditation support and Prevention Agenda issues. Peggy was active with NYSACHO as a member for many years before retiring as Assistant Commissioner, Albany County Department of Health. She started working part-time with NYSACHO in 2007.


Peggy's Back-up

Peggy provides additional program support to NYSACHO’s Immunization and Education and Training Grants.  Her primary back-up is Sarah Ravenhall.

Nancy Schiesel Fiscal, Contract & Compliance Manager

Nancy is responsible for the day-to-day fiscal management of NYSACHO. In that capacity, she acts as fiscal liaison with NYSACHO’s external bookkeeping firm, auditor, and public and private grantors. Nancy joined the NYSACHO team in 2015.

Nancy's Responsibilities

Members should contact Nancy first about:

  • Invoices
  • Dues

Nancy's Back-up

Nancy’s primary back-up for fiscal and contract administration issues is Sarah Ravenhall.

Patterson Schackne, MS Public Health Program and Event Planning Specialist

Patterson is your main contact for registrations and questions about events. She is responsible for all logistical matters for attendees as well as presenters. She supplies NYSACHO’s program and project managers with administrative support and oversees details to ensure each event is a seamless experience. Patterson joined the team in 2019.

Patterson's Responsibilities

Members should contact Patterson first about:

  • Event information
  • Registration, travel arrangements and reimbursement

Patterson's Back-up

Patterson’s primary back-up for administrative work is Kayla Dise. Primary back-up on events work are Kayla Dise, (for Early Intervention related events) Molly Fleming, and (for Immunization-related events) Robert Viets.

Kayla Dise Office Assistant

Kayla plays a key role at the association by providing administrative support for the NYSACHO team. Her responsibilities include: initiating membership queries; preparing and sending essential correspondence; maintaining files organization; updating distribution lists and serving as the lead contact of the organization by answering incoming calls. Operations stay afloat and running smoothly with Kayla in her role.

Kayla's Responsibilities

Members should contact Kayla first about:

  • Event logistics questions
  • Directory/Member information updates to the NYSACHO website and database
  • Member to member queries
  • Regular member meeting notices, registration, including dial-in and webinar information
  • Scheduling for Sarah Ravenhall and other managers

Kayla's Back-up

Kayla's primary back-up for questions is Sarah Ravenhall or Nancy Schiesel.  Her back-up for Directory/Member information updates is Robert Viets.
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NYSACHO is incorporated as a not-for-profit, non-partisan charitable organization with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.