Meet the Team

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 | Program Manager

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.

Simona Fish | Community Engagement Coordinator

Simona comes to CDTFC with a Masters of Public Health in Environmental Health Policy. Previously, she worked at the New York State Assembly in the Ways and Means Committee. She served as the Environment and Energy analyst and spent many nights sleeping in her cubicle during budget season. She now leads a slower life and spends time with her two children and farmer husband. She is dedicated to improving the public health of New York State residents when not baking bread.

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