LMPHW Senior Director's Team
On May 3, 2022, Mayor Fischer appointed Dr. Jeff Howard, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness medical director, as the city’s interim director and chief health strategist.
Before coming to the Department of Public Health and Wellness, Dr. Howard was appointed as a White House Fellow in 2019 where he served as a health policy advisor to the Vice President of the United States. He has also served as the Commissioner for Public Health and Chief Medical Officer of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As Commissioner, he managed the state’s public health system including approximately 2,500 employees and a $500 million budget. He also advised on healthcare policy matters. During his tenure, his primary focus was the opioid crisis, adverse childhood events, and leading public health transformation that brings long-term financial solvency to the public health system and emphasizes locally determined health priorities.
Dr. Howard earned a B.S. in Biology at Union College and a medical degree at the University of Louisville.
He also holds an MBA from Northern Kentucky University and an MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His awards include Louisville Business First’s Forty Under 40, Louisville Business First’s 20 Young Leaders of Louisville, de Beaumont Foundation’s 40 Leaders Under 40 in Public Health in the U.S., and Kentucky Public Health Association President’s Award for meritorious service to Kentucky’s public health.
Dr. Howard and his wife, Dr. Brandy Howard, reside in Louisville with their two children, Jeffrey and Katherine. To read his full bio click here.
T Benicio Gonzales, MSW, PMP, serves the residents of Louisville as Director for the Center for Health Equity. T began working of the Center for Health Equity in 2010 to coordinate the department’s Racial Healing and Equity Initiative. T supports the department’s strategy to deepen its focus on the root causes of health through authentic community engagement, strategic partnerships, addressing data gaps and challenges, and through policy analysis and development. As an active community member, T is committed to numerous organizations, projects, boards, and community campaigns. T has varied interests, including: LGBTQ health, racial equity, crafting, and watching any TV show with Gordon Ramsay.
T is originally from Texas and has called Louisville, Kentucky, home since 2006. T is currently a PhD student at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. T is a graduate of the University of Houston where T earned a Master of Social Work with a policy concentration. T holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
Connie Mendel, MPH serves as Senior Deputy Director of Operations where she oversees the department’s COVID-19 response as well Administration and Finance, Environmental Health, Public Health Preparedness, and the Public Health Laboratory. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of South Carolina and Master of Public Health from University of Louisville. She began her public health career in 1997 with the Jefferson County Health Department as an environmental health specialist in the Hazardous Materials Emergency Response, Food Safety, and Mosquito Control programs. She ascended the ranks of the environmental health section as Mosquito Control and Hazardous Materials program supervisor, Environmental Health Manger, Administrator, and Deputy Director before becoming Director of Environmental Health, Public Health Preparedness and Laboratory.
Connie is a fellow with the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute and actively participates with the Kentucky Environmental Health and the Kentucky Public Health Associations. She developed and implemented LMPHW’s vector-borne disease surveillance program for West Nile virus, assisted in the creation of the CDC’s Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) Course following Hurricane Katrina and developed guidelines for Louisville Metro and Kentucky’s public health response to methamphetamine-clandestine drug laboratories, Ebola decontamination, multi-chemical train derailments and post 9/11 anthrax incidents. Connie has been a member of the Louisville/ Jefferson County Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) since 2007 and served as Secretary from 2010-2016, leading the organization’s planning and facilitation of emergency response training exercise and conference events.
As a member of LMPHW’s Senior Director’s Team, she is focused on operationalizing health equality in our daily operations and removing barriers which prevent people from attaining their highest level of health. Family time is spent with her husband and daughter enjoying the outdoors with their three dogs and boating on the Ohio River.
Stacie Ingram, RN, BSN serves as Director of Nursing and Health Services. She earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from Excelsior College in 2008 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2019. Her span of responsibility encompasses 12 programs and 120 employees including WIC, Healthy Start, Clinical and Harm Reduction Programs and Services, Immunizations, Communicable Disease Prevention, Cancer Screening, Volunteer Coordination and Medical Records. Stacie began her public health career with the department as Nursing Administrator for Clinical Services during Louisville’s 2018 Hepatitis A outbreak. She was promoted to Director of Nursing in 2019 and Director of Nursing and Health Services in 2021.
Stacie is a Basic Life Support Instructor, a member of the Kentucky Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association, a HIPAA Certified Professional and is also certified in Advanced Hazmat Life Support.
She serves as the Infectious Diseases Branch Director specific to our COVID19 response, operationalizing guidance from state and federal authorities. She systematically develops processes and procedures that are practical and manageable for the team.
Additionally, she provides clinical direction to our vaccine management team and advises other branches of the COVID19 Response Team. Stacie is committed to operationalizing health equity and elevating the public health performance and practices of the department.
Taylor Ingram, MPH started collaborating with the Department of Public Health and Wellness in 2014 as a community coalition member. Her passion for our mission led her to seek fulltime employment with the department and in 2015, she was hired as a Health Program Analyst. Since then, and through a series of promotions, Taylor has overseen key operational transformations in both the Center for Health Equity and the Health Services Division. She has also served as Section Chief for the department’s Incident Management Team during the 2017 hepatitis A outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, the department has earned national recognition for our mass vaccination clinics, adoption of evidence-based policies, and research publications.
Currently serving as Chief of Staff, Taylor guarantees all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed in our team’s pursuit to address enduring public health challenges. She facilitates communications and connections to integrate work streams and teams. She is also a trusted thought partner who ensures the needs of the entire organization are considered.
Taylor holds a Master’s in Public Health degree from the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree from Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Taylor’s first career aspirations were to be a professional figure skater. Had her small town had an ice rink she might have gone on to the Olympics, instead of earning her public health degree and meeting her husband at Indiana University.