MURP Wins Tri-County Health Department Public Health Hero of the Year Award

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April 15, 2015

Denver, CO – Big news for the MURP Program! MURP was selected for a Public Health Hero of the Year award through the Tri-Country Health Department for its strategic vision of incorporating healthy communities as a core MURP initiative and for exploring ways to incorporate Health Impact Assessment into the program curriculum.

MURP’s Jeremy Németh, Carey McAndrews and Jenny Steffel Johnson were recognized for their role in embracing and implementing the Healthy Communities initiative in an awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 14. “Their willingness to try new topics and class projects that promote health through local land use planning processes set a new standard for collaboration across planning and public health disciplines” said John M. Douglas, Jr., Executive Director of the Tri-County Health Department. “The student projects that Dr. Németh, Dr. McAndrews and Dr. Steffel Johnson oversaw have helped to create lasting change in Adams and Arapahoe Counties.”

Healthy Communities is one of MURP’s three core initiatives, along with Urban Revitalization and Regional Sustainability. “Understanding the critical link between human health and the built environment is a key factor in creating more sustainable and resilient neighborhoods,” said Jeremy, Associate Professor and Chair of the MURP Program. “Our department believes this is a human rights issue: although Colorado is known for its physically fit and active adult population, our most vulnerable populations face significant challenges such as childhood obesity, disconnected neighborhoods, and lack of access to healthy food.”

As part of the Healthy Communities initiative, faculty actively work with partners at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the non-profit, educational and private sectors, to provide students with comprehensive and interdisciplinary training in the tools, innovations and policies necessary for creating physically, socially and economically healthy communities. MURP also collaborates with the Colorado School of Public Health to offer a dual degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health.

“We are thrilled to receive the Public Health Hero Award as recognition of our vital multi-year partnership with the Tri-County Health Department, a wonderful organization that provides communities with the resources they need to create healthier environments,” said Jeremy.