Wednesday October 15, 2003
Mayor Jerry Abramson today tapped a public health professional with extensive experience running a major metropolitan health department to be his new Director of Health.
Dr. Adewale (AH-DAY-WALL-AY) Troutman is currently a senior scientist for Community Health and Preventive Medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. For most of the last six years, he was director of the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness.
The Fulton County health department is largest health department in the state of Georgia with a staff of 750 and a budget of more than $38million a year. Dr. Troutman, 57, led a reorganization of the department that included bringing in more than $8 million in new sources of funding and development of a strategic plan. During his tenure, infant mortality rates among African-Americans reached their lowest point in the history of Fulton County. Teen pregnancy rates also declined.
“A healthy community is a strong community,” Abramson said. “In Dr. Troutman, we’ve found someone with incomparable experience in the field of public health and ability as an administrator, who can lead our health department to excellence in the 21st century.”
Dr. Troutman said he was drawn to Louisville because of the recent government merger and the strong public health partnership between the University of Louisville and Louisville Metro Government.
Dr. Troutman, who will be paid $180,000 annually, also will have a faculty appointment at the University of Louisville School of Public Health. Louisville Metro Government and UofL will split Dr. Troutman’s salary and benefits equally. Dr. Troutman will start full-time Jan. 1, 2004.
While finishing his duties at Morehouse, Troutman will spend one week a month at the Louisville Metro Health Department on a special contract. Dr. Kraig Humbaugh will remain as interim health director.
“Dr. Troutman is a man of impeccable character, skill and wisdom,” said Dr. Richard Goode, chairman of the Fulton County Board of Health. “Atlanta’s loss is Louisville’s gain.”
At Morehouse, Dr. Troutman is examining race as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well as health disparities related to race. In that work, he is collaborating with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher at the National Center for Primary Care, located at Morehouse.
“In searching for a new health director, we set our sights high, looking for an experienced public health administrator who could also create closer ties with the new School for Public Health at the University of Louisville,” Abramson said. “At the same time, we want someone who can help transform our Health Department into a state-of-the-art health department of the 21st Century. In Dr. Troutman, we’ve found someone with the depth of experience and background to provide that leadership.”
Abramson said the selection of Dr. Troutman was a joint process with the University of Louisville. Abramson applauded UofL President Jim Ramsey’s willingness to move forward on “this unique, new partnership” between the university and Louisville Metro Government.
The search committee, led by Health Board Chairman Mason Rudd, Dr. Don Kmetz, the former interim health director, and Mary Gwen Wheeler, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, interviewed several candidates from across the country before recommending Dr. Troutman as its first choice.
Prior to coming to Georgia in 1997, Dr. Troutman was Director of Emergency Medical Services for United Hospitals Medical Center in Newark, N.J. Dr. Troutman earned his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a master’s degree in Health Policy and Management from the Columbia University School of Public Health. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Lehman College.
The Louisville Metro Health Department has a $22 million annual budget. An eight-member Board of Health, appointed by the mayor, provides advice and citizen input. The Health Department has three major divisions – Community Health Services, Environmental Services and Support Services.