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Community Education and Outreach Section
The Community Education and Outreach Section supports DEH in the areas of health education, community outreach, and engagement services. Centralizing communication activities in the section ensures consistent application of the best available social science and public health practices throughout DEH with the goal of informing residents of actions that can be taken to prevent or limit exposures to environmental hazards.
The Community Education and Outreach Section is composed of three units:
Community Engagement Unit
Kristin Ward, Unit Manager – 517-331-0592
The role of the Community Engagement Unit is to facilitate communication, interaction, involvement, and exchange between DEH, communities, and organizations to improve public health outcomes.
Community Outreach Unit
Lakecia Powell-Denson, Unit Manager – 517-284-1272
The Community Outreach Unit supports DEH by providing the public clear, consistent, and timely public health information and resources related to all DEH programs and projects. Health-protective information provided to Michiganders aids in helping them make the best decisions to protect themselves from environmental exposures and hazards.
Health Education Unit
Maria George, Unit Manager – 517-648-5709
The Health Education supports the division to ensure Michiganders have:
- the tools needed to make informed decisions, whenever possible, on how to reduce personal exposure to chemical contaminants, and
- awareness of potential health outcomes.
The technical nature of information in DEH can be difficult to understand at times. The unit’s Health Educators ensure the complex information DEH shares is understandable, usable, and accessible. This increases the chances of influencing Michiganders’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards individual and community health. The Health Educators collaborate closely with community engagement and outreach staff to ensure information developed is shared appropriately with partners and communities across the state.
The unit’s daily work includes:
- collaborating with knowledge-appropriate staff and internal and external technical experts to identify communication needs and ensure technical accuracy,
- developing research-based and theory-driven strategic health communication plans, and
- creating targeted and appropriate outreach materials that are clear, concise, and easy to understand regardless of an individual’s knowledge base.