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Remembering former Louisville health director Dr. Adewale Troutman

Dr Adewale Troutman, former director of Louisville's Health and Wellness department.
Dr. Adewale Troutman

Dr. Adewale Troutman, former director of Louisville’s Health and Wellness Department and a towering leader in public health equity, died last Thursday at the age of 76. 

A nationally acclaimed trailblazer in the field of public health, Troutman focused much of his effort on racial equity and community activism. He was well known in Louisville for introducing the city’s first smoking ban in public offices and restaurants. 

He also spearheaded a massive vaccination drive in the city during the 2009 swine flu epidemic and created Louisville's Center for Health Equity, which aims to address health disparities among historically underserved communities.

Troutman was born and raised in the South Bronx in New York City and started his career leading the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness in Atlanta.

He was an associate professor in the University of Louisville's School of Public Health and Information Sciences. During the Obama administration, he was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality. He was also featured in a nationally televised PBS series "Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?" which focused on health disparities impacting African Americans. 

After his years in Louisville, Troutman moved to Florida where he became director of the University of South Florida's College of Public Health. 

In a statement, Mayor Greg Fischer highlighted Troutman’s accomplishments: 
"Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Troutman was an internationally known champion of better health for all, committed to the value of using equity as a lens for every decision and every policy. He once said he chose public health as a career field because he knew it would allow him the opportunity 'to have the biggest impact on the greatest number of people. … (to) make a difference in thousands of lives every day, rather than one at a time.' That was certainly true of his time in Louisville, where he helped launch our city’s Center for Health Equity, and used his skills, experience and expertise to improve the health of all, especially those who’ve historically been underserved. He will be missed."
Troutman is survived by his wife and four children.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.