T Benicio Gonzales has been named the Director of the Center for Health Equity at the Department of Public Health and Wellness. He had served as the center’s Interim Director since last year.
Gonzales came to the Center for Health Equity in 2010 and has taken on increasingly higher-responsibility roles as a Community Health Specialist, Training Coordinator, Executive Administrator, Assistant Director and Interim Director.
Gonzales is recognized as a national expert on equity issues and is frequently asked to consult with health departments and other organizations across the country. Recent presentations at national conferences have included Promoting Health Equity: The Intersection of Social Justice and Psychology to the Great Lakes Regional Counseling Psychology Conference in Louisville; Restructuring a Local Health Department to More Effectively Address Health Equity to the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting in San Diego and Using Our Power to Advance Racial Equity to the Summit on Government Performance & Innovation in Los Angeles.
He has also been a co-author of many of the Center’s recent reports including Coming Together for Hope, Healing & Recovery: A Plan to Address Substance Use and Misuse in Louisville (2018), the 2017 Health Equity Report: Uncovering the Root Causes of Health and Towards Racial Equity through Policy & Assessment (2015). Gonzales is the first transgender person to serve in a major leadership position at the Department of Public Health and Wellness.
Gonzales was a Presidential Endowed Scholar at the Graduate College of Social Work of the University of Houston where he earned a Master of Social Work degree. He did his undergraduate work at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Gonzales is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.
“I am delighted and proud that T is now our permanent director at the Center for Health Equity,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness and the city’s Chief Health Strategist. “T’s leadership skills have been instrumental in restructuring the Department of Public Health and Wellness over the past year to better achieve equity goals. T has a real commitment to this work and the ability to lead the Department of Public Health and Wellness to fulfill its vision of a Louisville where everyone and every community thrives.”