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About Us: the MiPEHS Study Team

The MiPEHS study team is part of the Division of Environmental Health in the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. The team includes toxicologists, epidemiologists, health educators, community engagement specialists, and other critical staff. For this study, we are working with the study-office experts at RTI International (RTI), and also with a group of local community members who have been supporting us along the way!

Kory Groetsch, MS

Principal Investigator

Mr. Kory Groetsch is the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Environmental Public Health Director for the Division of Environmental Health overseeing response efforts for lead, vapor intrusion, drinking water, PFAS, and other sites of contamination. Prior to his current position, Mr. Groetsch served as a toxicologist and health educator within the Toxicology and Response Section, managing the State's Cooperative Agreement with the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and conducting public health exposure assessments, biomonitoring activities, and health education activities across the state for 17 years.

David Savitz, Ph.D.

Epidemiologist and Scientific Consultant to MiPEHS

Dr. Savitz is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health. He also serves as Interim Dean of the School of Public Health and holds joint appointments in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics in the Alpert Medical School. Dr. Savitz has extensive experience in the study of health effects of PFAS, beginning with his work as a member of the C8 Science Panel. In that role, he led and collaborated in a number of research projects that culminated in a judgment regarding probable links between PFOA exposure and a series of health outcomes. He has also led projects focused on drinking water disinfection by-products, pesticides, a wide range of occupational exposures, and air pollution. Dr. Savitz will contribute to the research team in the development and refinement of hypotheses, guidance of data analysis and interpretation, and development of manuscripts for publication.

Jordan Bailey, Ph.D.

Co-Lead Toxicologist

Dr. Bailey is a toxicologist with more than 12 years of experience conducting environmental health research in university and government settings. Her primary interest is in understanding the impact of environmental chemicals on health.

Laura Abington, M.Ed., MPH

Co-Lead Epidemiologist

Laura Abington is an epidemiologist with prior experience in conducting a PFAS exposure assessment and in health study data analysis.  Her primary interests are in environmental epidemiology and understanding associations between chemical exposures and health outcomes.  

Joost van't Erve, Ph.D.

Co-Lead Toxicologist

Dr. van 't Erve is a toxicologist with many years of experience in conducting research on the effect of environmental chemical exposures on human health. Along with his work on MiPEHS, he is responsible for evaluating environmental data, identifying public health hazards, and answering questions about toxicology from Michigan residents.

Sarah Allison, MPH

Lead Health Educator

Sarah Allison has over five years of public health experience, including drug use prevention, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and tobacco use reduction. She has worked in local health care, as well as county and state government. 

Ellery Johnson, MPP

Lead Community Engagement Specialist

Ellery Johnson is a community engagement specialist who is committed to helping Michigan residents collaboratively process and address environmental and public health issues affecting their communities.   

Melissa Jaiman-Cruz, B.Scs.

Project Manager

Melissa Jaiman-Cruz is a project manager with more than 5 years of experience as a research program coordinator and administrator in university, including neuroscience and environmental health. Her goal is to support the MiPEHS study and the Michigan residents and communities.