About Us

Who We Are

Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities (CDTFC) is a program of St. Peter’s Health Partners serving Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady Counties, and funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Health as part of the NYS Tobacco Control Program.

What We Do

CDTFC provides information and assistance to help municipalities and a wide variety of community stakeholders implement evidence-based strategies to achieve the following goals:

  • Prevent youth tobacco use and initiation
  • Eliminate exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke
  • Strengthen environments to better support tobacco-free choices

Our Accomplishments

We’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished to improve the health of the entire Capital District community. Here are just a few of the outcomes of our partnerships with local community organizations, businesses and governments:

  • More than 10,000 additional multi-family housing units are now smoke-free, including all HUD-funded housing.
  • 21 municipalities made their parks tobacco-free, making outdoor recreation healthier for all.
  • More than 50 local businesses and organizations adopted tobacco-free policies for the benefit of employees and consumers.
  • All Capital District colleges implemented comprehensive tobacco-free policies.
  • Several local laws have been adopted aimed at reducing youth tobacco use.

Meet Our Team

Judy Rightmyer | Director

A registered nurse by profession, Judy has worked tirelessly to improve individual and community health throughout the Capital District and, for nearly 20 years, she has been at the forefront of local tobacco control efforts. During her tenure as Director, she has spearheaded initiatives that contributed to statewide adoption of the Clean Indoor Air Act, raising the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products to 21, and most recently, ending the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. When not fighting the good fight, you’re likely to find Judy teaching yoga, cycling back roads or scaling a mountain accompanied by Abe, her trusty canine.

Theresa Zubretsky | Community Engagement Coordinator

With more than 20 years of professional policy development and training experience, Theresa joined the CDTFC team in 2007 and put her many skills to immediate use helping businesses advance employee wellness by making their workplaces tobacco-free and guiding local municipalities through the process of making outdoor public spaces tobacco-free. Her deep commitment to social justice also propelled CDTFC to become a statewide innovator in tobacco control initiatives that directly address health inequities. When off the clock, Theresa likes to get her hands dirty. No, not nefariously. . .she’s a hobby potter who loves to play in clay!

Jeanie Orr | Community Engagement Coordinator

Jeanie joined the CDTFC team in 2007 with her Master’s in Public Health and soon established herself as New York State’s foremost expert on Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing. Her pursuit of justice contributed to the dismantling of existing state and federal roadblocks to smoke-free living for families living in low-income housing, culminating in HUD’s implementation of a 2017 rule requiring Public Housing Agencies to adopt a smoke-free policy. For fun, Jeanie enjoys gourmet cooking but she also runs which provides a healthy balance to all that gourmet eating.

Cara Zampi | Youth Engagement Coordinator

Cara has been a trusted member of the CDTFC team since 2017 and has been empowering youth to be tobacco control change agents since 2013. Her contagious passion and positivity have inspired Capital District youth to accomplish amazing things including tobacco-free parks and a local law to keep tobacco retailers away from schools. She may also be the most organized member of CDTFC’s team (but don’t tell Judy we said so). Cara’s creativity and talents extend into the arts where she pursues her labor of love as a singer/songwriter/musician.

Lauren Sears | Program Specialist

Lauren may be the newest member of CDTFC’s team, but she brings with her a rich background in journalism and communications from both her college studies and her time as a Producer at Spectrum News. With inside knowledge of the ins and outs of all things media-related, in her short time with CDTFC she’s already quadrupled our Facebook engagements, increased our community visibility through monthly media coverage, and provided valuable guidance to the statewide media team. If Lauren’s not decorating her office space to coincide with the holiday du jour, you’ll probably find her, sans shoes, on a beach. But no matter where she is, she’ll no doubt be displaying her trademark smile.

Want to learn more? Contact us through our online form.