The following was submitted by the County of Riverside Department of Public Heatlh:
The American Planning Association has honored a county Department of Public Health official for his work in developing policy that highlights the link between health and how communities are built.
Deputy Director Michael Osur, who joined the department in 1994, will receive the 2013 National Planning Excellence for a Planning Advocate award during ceremonies in Chicago later this year. According to the association, the award recognizes an individual who has advanced or promoted the cause of good planning in the public arena.
Among the accomplishments cited, Osur is credited with helping prepare a healthy-communities element adopted by the Board of Supervisors as part of the county general plan. At that time, the county was the was the first county in the state to approve such a component, which provides a framework for planning healthier communities in the future.
“Through his tireless efforts over eight years, Mr. Osur forged one of the most unique partnerships in the state of California,” said Ann C. Bagley, the chairperson of the association’s 2013 awards jury. “He is a proven planning advocate who has worked effectively over the years to maximize resources, plan, and support ideas that lead to good planning practices.”
Public Health Department Director Susan Harrington said the award is well deserved and recognizes the connection between health and proper planning.
“The way a community is designed and built can greatly affect the health of its residents,” Harrington said. “Michael has worked hard to bring that message to others and the benefits of that labor will be seen across Riverside County for decades.”