Institute of Gerontology, Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors
Dr. Leach splits her time between the Institute of Gerontology (IOG) and the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES). At the IOG, she has spent the last decade co-investigating and authoring community-based older adult needs assessments at the municipal, county, and regional level to help prioritize services for older adults. Building on her community-based and engaged research experiences, in 2014 she joined the CURES as Program Manager for the Community Engagement Core. She manages the advocacy, engagement, and communication activities with the aim of fostering connections and co-learning between researchers, decision makers, and Detroiters impacted by environmental issues. She has co-constructed communication and translation tools with the CURES Community Advisory Board to disseminate environmental health information and science to more than 3,500 Detroit residents. She works with CURES environmental health science researchers to translate and distill scientific information so that it may more readily inform policy making and improve public health. She earned her Master of Public Administration in the Department of Political Science at Wayne State University and PhD in the Department of Communication with a focus on health communication and social gerontology. Her applied and participatory dissertation research focused on older adults’ social worlds and how communication in context influenced decisions to engage and access health and social services with the aim of enabling connections through their communication ecology.