Richard Jackson MD, MPH

src=”” alt=”” title=”Richard Jackson” width=”214″ height=”300″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-7079″ />PSR-LA is pleased to present the Socially Responsible Medicine Award to Richard Jackson for years of advocacy to protect farmworkers and children from pesticide risks and improving community health by changing the built environment.

Dr. Jackson has done extensive work in the impact of the environment on health, particularly relating to children. Dr. Jackson chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health. He did extensive work on pesticides in California, and has also focused on epidemiology, infectious diseases and toxicology.

Dr. Jackson helped establish the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and state and national laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and to children. While at CDC he established the national asthma epidemiology and control program, oversaw the childhood lead poisoning prevention program, and instituted the federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population. In the late 1990s he was the CDC leader in establishing the US National Pharmaceutical Stockpile to prepare for terrorism and other disasters—which was activated on September 11, 2001.

Over the past decade much of his work has focused on how the ‘built environment’ including how architecture and urban planning affect health. He recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects and has written and spoken extensively in the above areas. Currently, Dr. Jackson has been working on policy analyses of environmental impacts on health ranging from toxicology, chemical body burdens, terrorism, sustainability, climate change, urban design and architecture. In addition, he is developing policy analyses in related areas, such as how farm, education, housing, and transportation policies affect health.

He has received the Breast Cancer Fund’s Hero Award, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Public Health Law Association, and the New Partners for Smart Growth. Jackson lectures and speaks on many issues, particularly those related to built environment and health. He co-authored two Island Press Books: Urban Sprawl and Public Health in 2004 and Making Healthy Places published in August, 2011.

In 2012, Dr. Jackson served as host of the public television special Designing Healthy Communities which links to a separate book by the same name published by J Wiley & Sons in October, 2011. The series looks at the impact our built environment has on key public health indices – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer and depression. Dr. Jackson connects bad community design with burgeoning health costs, then analyzes and illustrates what citizens are doing about this urgent crisis by looking upstream for innovative solutions. Recently, Dr. Jackson was named an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and as the recipient of the American Public Health Association’s Sedgwick Memorial Medal.

Dr Jackson’s work shows us that solving complex public health problems is not just the purview of health departments and physicians but of planners, architects and communities working together.

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