Terry L. Leet, born on March 12, 1952, passed way Wednesday April 29, 2009 after battling cancer for more than a year. He was 57. He was an epidemiologist with a specialty in Maternal and Child health. He was the Principal Investigator on the Gateway Study Center of the National Children's Study, the largest longitudinal study of children, following them from before birth to 21 years of age.
Dr. Leet successfully played many roles, but first and foremost, he was a teacher. "He set the bar for teaching at the School of Public Health. He was an excellent teacher and his students loved him. He was always available for students. He took complicated information and made it accessible for students so they could put it to use in the field," said Darcy Scharff, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and assistant professor of community health.
Dr. Wilmott, M.D., chair of pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, added to the profound impact that Dr. Leet had when he stated, "He was known as an outstanding teacher, both locally and internationally. He traveled to Austria each year to teach epidemiology in the Evidence Based Public Health course. He was very highly regarded. Students loved his class because he made everything interesting and engaging. He encouraged students and junior faculty and was generous with his time."
Always open and honest, Dr. Leet shared his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma with his students and they responded by rallying together to show their support for him. For example, on Saturday, April 25, students from the School of Public Health participated in Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, in Dr. Leet's honor. That same day, his daughters completed a half marathon in the Nashville Country Music Marathon to raise funds in his honor for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
His time may have been cut short, but his legacy lives on through this conference series. He saw this series as a way to give back to the community of public health. His vision was to assure that folks on the front line have the knowledge and skills to reduce health disparities and improve public health. So, we carry on the vision of the consummate teacher.
Sharing Responsibility, Improving Community Health