Paul Simon, an adjunct professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, will receive the Robert W. Zweig M.D. Memorial Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The award is given to those who have made "a significant contribution to cleaner air."
Simon teaches in the department of epidemiology, in addition to holding the position of director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. His research focuses on community health and environmental profiles.
Simon is being recognized for the PLACE (Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments) program, which he spearheaded in his L.A. County post. PLACE aims to "improve places where people live, work and play through policy enhancements that include public health aspects of land-use and transportation planning," improvements that can enhance the overall health of Angelenos by improving air quality and promoting healthier lifestyles. The PLACE program intends to expand bike- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, which will reduce air pollution as well as promote an increase in the day-to-day physical activity of L.A. residents. The program also issued needed HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) grants around Los Angeles which provide education and resources for more healthful food and daily exercise.