Laurence E. Ganges (Larry) was born on July 17, 1953 in Trenton, New Jersey, one of thee sons of the late Henry J. Ganges, Sr. and Helen R. Mann. Larry graduated from Hamilton High East (Steinert) in 1971 and was a two-year member of the National Honor Society.
Larry continued his education and graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He also graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Social Work in 1977 with a Master’s Degree in Social Work (Administration and Policy).
Shortly after graduate school, Larry returned to New Jersey and began his career in the fields of human services and public health.
Larry’s first professional position was in Red Bank, New Jersey, where he was responsible for finding housing for de-institutionalized developmentally disabled adults in Monmouth County. Later in Trenton he worked for a community action, anti-poverty program, United Progress, Inc. serving first as the Clinical Coordinator, and then Director of three alcoholism treatment programs, including the Trenton Detox Center.
In 1980, Larry joined the New Jersey State Department of Health as a Program Officer in the Division of Alcoholism, monitoring health service grants throughout the state. From 1982 – 1988 he served as the Coordinator for Occupational Programming working directly with public and private companies developing Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) in response to employees troubled by alcoholism, drug abuse and other personal problems. He developed numerous EAPs, working collaboratively with labor-management committees, and conducted numerous training programs for supervisors and managers.
In 1988, Larry accepted a promotion to Program Manager in the newly created Division of AIDS Prevention and Control, managing statewide HIV counseling and testing, prevention and partner notification activities. Larry became the Director of HIV Counseling and Testing in 1992, and served in that capacity until 2002 when he was offered the position of Assistant Commissioner.
Larry served as Assistant Commissioner from 2002 to 2011, overseeing a staff of 150 professionals, a budget of approximately $140 million, and managing services that incorporate surveillance, prevention, partner notification, HIV testing, research and care and treatment. While much progress has been made in the effort to reduce HIV transmission in New Jersey, one of Larry’s most satisfying accomplishments is the long-awaited provision of needle exchange programming for injecting drug users. He has published several articles on the criticality of HIV testing for those at risk for infection.
Larry is the recipient of many awards, including the 2002 President’s Award from the New Jersey Public Health Association, and the 2010 Riki Jacobs Award for Social Justice from the Hyacinth Foundation.
After 31 years of service to the State of New Jersey, Larry retired.
He is a former mentor in the Mercer County Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program; and a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the NAACP.
Larry is married to the former Brenda Brown, and they have raised five beautiful children. They are also the proud grandparents of twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren.