Posted on August 12, 2013 · Posted in Roosevelt House General News, Tisch Legacy Project News

Roosevelt House extends a warm welcome to Dr. Richard Jackson, who has joined us as our fourth Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health.

For the last five years, Richard J. Jackson served as chair of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA’s School of Public Health.  He has done extensive work in the impact of the environment on health, particularly relating to children and is a leading voice for better urban design for the sake of good health.

Dr. Jackson has held many leadership positions, and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects, chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health, and in 2011 was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  He served in California Health Department for 15 years, including as the  California State Health Officer. He helped establish the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program and state and national laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farmworkers and to children, and advanced the state’s emergency preparedness efforts and the public health effort to reverse the obesity epidemic.

Dr. Jackson worked for 15 years at the CDC where he established the National Asthma Epidemiology and Control Program and advanced the childhood lead poisoning prevention program. He instituted the current federal effort to “biomonitor” chemical levels in the US population. He was the US lead under several US government efforts around health and environment in Russia, including radiation threats. 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.

Jackson is host-narrator of PBS’ 4-hour series, Designing Healthy Communities, and co-author of the companion book of the same name.  He has received the highest honor of the American Public Health Association, the Sedgwick Memorial Medal.  In 2006 he 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. Dick Jackson lectures and speaks on many issues, particularly those related to the built environment and health. At the UC Berkeley 2007 Commencement, the School of Public Health graduate students recognized him as the Distinguished Teacher and Mentor of the Year. He coauthored two Island Press Books: Urban Sprawl and Public Health in 2004 and Making Healthy Places published in August 2011.

Over the course of his semester here at Roosevelt House, Dr. Jackson will be co-teaching a core master’s level course on Public Health Policy Analysis at the Hunter School of Public Health with Professor Barbara Berney, and will co-chair a Faculty Seminar with Hunter Professor William Solecki that will examine issues of community resilience including to the impacts of climate change over the next half century with particular attention to the New York Metropolitan Region

The Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project is a major, multidisciplinary initiative at Hunter College that addresses urban public health issues – from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diabetes to health disparities due to economic and environmental factors.