In The Spotlight: Larry Smith

Larry Smith joined NKY Health as the HIV Prevention Health Educator nearly a year ago. He is originally from Gulfport, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s in Public Health with an emphasis in education and promotion. Larry decided to apply for a position at the Health Department because he was seeking more opportunities for growth. His role as the HIV Prevention Health Educator is to ensure that the community is competent in HIV/AIDS awareness, provide free HIV testing among high-risk individuals, as well as educate the public on preventative measures of acquiring HIV.

In this role, you do not have a typical work day as it is constantly evolving and does not allow one to adhere to a regular 8 to 5 work schedule. Each month, Larry tests at about ten locations in the community at various times ranging from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. He also plans and coordinates events around national awareness days such as National HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, National HIV Testing Day, National Women’s and Girls HIV Testing Day, and many more. The time he does have in the office is spent doing administrative duties such as reporting data statistics around testing certain individuals in the community, fostering new partnerships with organizations in the area, and developing more opportunities for testing in Northern Kentucky. While being on the go all the time can be taxing, his favorite part of the job is definitely BEING OUT OF THE OFFICE, as he enjoys doing outreach and making connections with members of the communities he serves.

When Larry is off, you will typically find him at home recharging his social batteries through baking, cooking, or wine tasting. Contrary to popular belief, he is extremely introverted- where his bubbly personality at work is counteracted by his reserved and gentle personality at home. If you spend any amount of time with this loving, old soul you must try one of his baking masterpieces! Some, in Population Health have had a chance to experience his Gentilly cake, red velvet cake, and peach cobbler; they are AMAZING! However, if you are going to ask him to make you some, do not tell him that I was the one that “let the cat out of the bag”.

We are lucky to have someone like Larry who views his role as “rewarding” and appreciates being able to touch the lives of other people every single day. His knowledge of and passion for public health is extremely inspiring and it is an absolute pleasure to work alongside such a talented, self-motivated, intelligent, and FIERCE individual.

By:  Jasmine Nelson, LiveWell NKY