Public Health Hero: Adewale Troutman
Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH -- Former Director, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness
Adewale Troutman has an accomplished career in public health and leadership, and his numerous achievements establishing policies and initiatives for better health and health equity created a foundation in his local area in Louisville as a model for community health. "Health is a human right. I look forward to a future in this nation that acknowledges that as well."
Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, was involved in the civil rights movement as a young individual, and attributes that experience defending his own individual, natural-born, human rights to the leadership role he has today in ridding health inequities, using his influence as a physician to improve the health of those populations that historically have been underserved. "I knew public health would grant me the opportunity to have the biggest impact on the greatest number of people. I make a difference in thousands of lives every day, rather than one at a time."
Troutman recognizes the best way to guide this impact is through research. "We have to be guided by our best practices and best available science. The only way to do that and derive the best answers is through research, and the ways to use research to effect the policy and practice of public health and populations."
Troutman certainly has left a lasting mark already in the health of his community and future generations. His long list of accomplishments in his local Louisville community include practical measures to encourage healthy lifestyles, such as eliminating smoking in any restaurant or workplace, establishing the ‘Mayor's Healthy Hometown Movement,' which encourages local residents to become more involved in fitness and exercise, and implementing programs at the Department to encourage wellness and good health, as well as for other member organizations in the community to model after. Troutman also put an imprint in the future of health equity by establishing the Center for the Elimination of Health Disparities at the Department, and establishing a partnership program for students at the University of Louisville School of Public Health to develop a project to research and identify the needs of the underserved in the local community, and then working with Department health staff, to facilitate those needs through interventions and the best implementation of practice.
One of Troutman's greatest personal achievements in his public health career is the collaboration with other leading stakeholders in the final implementation of a strategic plan that uses the notion of health equity to address the differences in health outcomes of populations. This is the blueprint, hopefully, to Troutman's ultimate goal of a "nation that recognizes health as a human right, and where no individual is marked by their ability to gain accesss to improved health by their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual preference, etc. A nation with equal opportunity for a full, healthy life for every individual."