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Expert on ‘Place and Health’ to headline this year’s Great River Gathering

The keynote speaker for this year’s Great River Gathering in St. Paul will be Dr. Richard J. Jackson, an expert on place and health.

Jackson is Chair of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA’s School of Public Health and speaks often on “built environment and health.”

A focus of the May 14 dinner and an accompanying “placemaking residency” will be making the Twin Cities a healthier place.

Organizers say:

Good health is vital for economic and social development. The Twin Cities are considered one of the healthiest metropolitan areas in the nation, but not all residents have the same chances to be healthy. In addition, trends show that more and more people are moving to cities, putting immense pressure on our infrastructure, health systems, and the environment.

The goal: to find ways to work together to improve the health and environmental sustainability of our communities.

More about Jackson from the dinner sponsor, Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation:

 A pediatrician, [Jackson] has served in many leadership positions in both environmental health and infectious disease with the California Health Department, including the highest, State Health Officer. For nine years he was Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta and received the Presidential Distinguished Service award.  

In addition to co-authoring two Island Press Books, he was the host of the 2012 public television special Designing Healthy Communities. He has served on many environmental and health boards, as well as the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects. 

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