Terry Leach is an award-winning writer, health care attorney, political strategist and RN. She is currently consulting on political strategy, messaging and policy for a variety of organizations, including a non-profit that advocates for stem cell research, a large environmental organization, and to a primary care collaborative out of Seattle, Wa, that is reaching out to the uninsured.
Ms. Leach has also held a number of volunteer leadership positions, including working as a health policy advisor to the Dean Campaign, serving on the e-board of the California Democratic Party, and is the President of one of California’s most active and largest Democratic clubs. She has also worked with leaders of the Green Party and local Peace & Justice groups on a variety of issues involving collaboration and coalition-building.
In 2006, Ms. Leach served as the Director of Strategy and the Director of Health Policy for the successful John Garamendi for California Lieutenant Governor Campaign. Before that, she served as the Executive Director of the Rockridge Foundation, the progressive think tank founded by the linguist and author of “Don’t Think of an Elephant,” Dr. George Lakoff.
From 2002-2005, Ms. Leach served as a health care consultant to California State Senator Tom Torlakson. Her primary focus was to help create the political will to address the childhood obesity epidemic comprehensively. This involved working with the media and recruiting leaders in the field, as well as business leaders and leading Republican lawmakers to a task force designed to address this public health issue. The goal was to overcome the mantra of “personal responsibility” as a means by soda bottlers and others to disavow any governmental responsibility in the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
Ms. Leach also served as a health care attorney for ten years, offering advice to hospital ethics committees as well as institutional review boards charged with overseeing clinical trials occurring in their institutions.
As a public health nurse, Ms. Leach provided care to migrant workers in California’s Central Valley as well as in the foothills and Bay Area.
Ms. Leach holds an MFA in writing from Bennington College, Vermont, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and a B.S. in Nursing with a concentration in Spanish from Cal State University, Sacramento. Several of her columns and stories about health care have been published in major newspapers, and in journals and short story collections.