The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) was saddened to learn that Chris Kochtitzky, MSP, passed away on May 3, 2020. He was one of the founders of the field of built environment and health at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he worked for over two decades. He grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Millsaps College in 1989 and earned a master's degree in planning with a focus on urban and regional planning from Florida State University in 1992.
Kochtitzky started at CDC in 1992 and worked for several years as a policy analyst in the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. In 1997, he moved to the National Center for Environmental Health's (NCEH) Office of Policy, Evaluation, and Legislation where he served as its deputy director. In 2003, after serving for 2 years as the associate director of policy for the Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services, he served 1 year as the branch chief of the Disability and Health Branch, and later became the deputy director of the Division of Human Development and Disability.
From 2009-2017, Kochtitzky served as the associate director for program development for the NCEH Division of Emergency and Environmental Health Services before joining the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity as a senior advisor. In this position he served as an expert on the development of evidence-based guidelines and recommendations to increase physical activity across the country. Kochtitzky provided technical and subject-matter expertise to state and community programs in the areas of policy, systems, and environmental interventions designed to promote active living.
Throughout his career, Kochtitzky worked tirelessly as a bridge between the fields of planning and public health. In 2010, he served as an adjunct professor at Emory University and taught a course on public health and the built environment. He was known for the strength of the partnerships he developed and maintained. His networks allowed for the spread and scale of science and implementation of programs across federal, state, and local agencies, as well as private and nonprofit sectors.
Kochtitzky contributed to the planning and public health fields through several influential articles, book chapters, and numerous presentations given throughout the U.S. He was recognized by CDC in 2018 as a Public Health Agent of Change. Furthermore, he...