40 under 40 class of 2021
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Built Environment and Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Coordinator
Boulder County Public Health
"While not a traditional public health practitioner, I know my future is in public health because public health is where we will find solutions. Public health has the opportunity to convene, champion equity, and build power."
Three words to describe me:
determined, tenacious, hopeful
The best part of my job:
implementing a solution that I co-designed with the community that intersects the social determinants of health
Something that would surprise others about me:
I lived in a bunkhouse with 21 other people for 10 months, where I taught elementary school children environmental science for half of the year and built hiking trails for the second half for Student Conservation Association.
A champion of equity, food justice, and healthy community design, Rachel Arndt strives to ensure that public health, sustainability, and environmental health themes are incorporated into municipal, county, and regional plans. As the HEAL and Built Environment Coordinator, Rachel creates a more just future for Boulder County residents through policy and environmental changes that reduce disparities and ensure every resident has an opportunity for a healthy life.
Under Rachel’s leadership, Boulder County has become recognized as a statewide innovator in obesity and food systems work. When she was selected to lead the HEAL and Built Environment program, Boulder County did not have a chronic disease prevention program. Since 2013, Rachel has secured over $3 million in grant funding to implement food systems and obesity prevention programs and policies all with an emphasis on health equity. She strives to build power and shared leadership in the communities she serves to uplift and advance their priorities.
Rachel received a master’s degree in urban planning and a BS in environmental science and economics from the University of Michigan. She received her professional urban planning certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2014.