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FOCUS News: Leadership

Dr. Jason Purnell named FOCUS St. Louis 2016 Leadership Award Honoree

Friday, February 5, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Dr. Jason PurnellFOCUS St. Louis® is proud to honor Dr. Jason Q. Purnell, Assistant Professor in the Brown School at Washington University, with the 2016 Leadership Award for his work on the For the Sake of All project. This prestigious award is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate remarkable and courageous community leadership, have meaningful impact on the community, and encourage strong community leadership in others. FOCUS will present the awards at the What's Right with the Region! celebration on Thursday, May 12, 2016, at the Sheldon Concert Hall.


Trained in both applied psychology and public health, Dr. Purnell joined the Brown School faculty in 2009. In March 2013, alongside scholars from Washington University and Saint Louis University, he embarked on a year-long exploration of health disparities in the St. Louis region. This multi-disciplinary project, called For the Sake of All, brought together stakeholders and community partners from across the St. Louis region and focused on the social determinants of health, including education, economics, neighborhoods, and community resources.


With the For the Sake of All report released in May 2014, Dr. Purnell and his team concluded phase one of the project and took the next steps of bringing the report to the St. Louis region, engaging business leaders, policy makers and community members. Through community forums, discussion guides, outreach to the faith community, legislative briefs, articles, presentations and more, Dr. Purnell and For the Sake of All have reached thousands of St. Louis citizens around implementation of the report’s recommendations.


“Dr. Purnell’s work on this project is helping to change the conversation in our community about racial equity and racial disparities,” said Tim Eby, board chair of FOCUS St. Louis. “The overall health of our region is dependent upon the health of those who live here, and Dr. Purnell’s leadership is helping to bring these issues to light, as well as actionable steps toward improving them.”


Dr. Purnell completed his undergraduate studies in government and philosophy at Harvard University, his doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Ohio State University and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. 


He is very active in the St. Louis community, both personally and professionally, including service on the boards of Beyond Housing, Inc. and the American Youth Foundation. He is a member of the Leadership Council for the Ready by 21 St. Louis collective impact initiative and was appointed by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson to the Peace and Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He has also been honored with the Young Leader Award from the St. Louis American Foundation and the Young Professionals Awards in Health and Quality of Life Empowerment from the Urban League Young Professionals of Metropolitan St. Louis.


The St. Louis community is invited to join us to recognize Dr. Purnell for his leadership and commitment to improving our region, as well as the 20 What’s Right with the Region! award honorees (to be announced shortly).


19th Annual FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region! Awards
Thursday, May 12, 2016 · 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sheldon Concert Hall

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