The Policies for Livable Active Communities and
Environments (PLACE) Program was launched in
2006 as part of an effort to bring funding allocated for
chronic disease and injury prevention in greater
alignment with the death and disability caused by
chronic disease and injury.
The PLACE Program fosters policy change that supports
healthy, safe, and active environments for all Los
Angeles County residents. We recognize that the design
and structure of our cities, communities, neighborhoods,
work sites, schools, and streets can impact how much
physical activity we get, what we eat, the safety of our
streets, and the quality of the air we breathe. How we
choose to design or improve various aspects of our
environment plays an important role in preventing injury
and many chronic conditions - such as obesity, heart
disease, diabetes and asthma - whose risk factors
include physical inactivity, poor nutrition and exposure
to air pollution. As more Angelinos face the threat and
reality of developing these chronic conditions, the
PLACE Program supports the development of healthier
communities by fostering policy change that improves the
places where people live, work and play.
Meet Our Team
Jean Armbruster, MA
Jean Armbruster, MA, is the
Director of the PLACE Program (Policies from Livable,
Active Communities and Environments) at the Los
Angeles County Department of Public Health. The
programís mission is to foster policy change that
supports the development of safe, healthy, active
environments for all Los Angeles County residents.
PLACE makes grants and provides technical assistance to
cities and communities to promote the development of
policies such as bicycle and pedestrian master plans,
complete streets, and safe routes to schools plans. Ms.
Armbruster received her undergraduate degree from
Colorado College and her Master of Arts from California
State University, Long Beach. She loves hiking and
walking her dog in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Justin Robertson, AICP is a Senior
Planner with the PLACE (Policies for Livable, Active
Communities and Environments) Program at the Los Angeles
County Department of Public Health (DPH), overseeing the
programís pedestrian planning projects and facilitating
the Countyís Healthy Design Workgroup and Tree
Committee. Justin received his Master of Urban and
Regional Planning degree from UCLA, and a Bachelor of
Arts in Political Science from California State
University, Northridge. Prior to joining PLACE, he
worked as a mobility planner and project manager for the
City of Glendale, as a community organizer in tobacco
policy at DPH, and as an aide to former Los Angeles City
Council Member Tom LaBonge. He is a member of the
American Institute of Certified Planners.
Health Program Analyst II
Community Engagement & Transportation Planner
Alfredo Lezama is the Community
Engagement & Transportation Planner with the PLACE Program at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He is responsible for leading outreach efforts with community-based organizations. Alfredoís work seeks to create healthy, equitable, sustainable, and walkable communities by encouraging civic engagement and participation in the planning process. Prior to joining the PLACE Program, he worked at UCLA as a Student Coordinator for the Leaders in Sustainability graduate program. Alfredo has worked on a variety of education, health policy and planning projects at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, and the UC Riverside Inland Center for Sustainable Development. A fellow of the Institute of American Cultures at UCLA and the UC Global Food Initiative, he holds a Masterís degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA and a B.A. in Political Science from UC Riverside.
Yanel Saenz is a Project Manager with the PLACE
program at the Los Angeles County Department of Public
Health, focusing on the Step by Step Los Angeles County:
Pedestrian Plans for Unincorporated Communities project.
She previously worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center in
the Quality Improvement department of their community
health center where she helped improve the health of
LGBTQ+ patients by increasing access to preventive
screenings for colorectal cancer screening, cervical
cancer screening, and annual wellness visits. She holds
a BA in Public Health from UC Berkeley and a Master of
Public Health in Community Health Sciences from UCLA.