The Office of the Health Commissioner sets policy and provides leadership for the Department of Public Health. We work closely with other human service providers in Philadelphia to assure high-quality healthcare services for all.
James W. Buehler, MD, is Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia. Before joining the Department of Public Health, he was Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy of the Drexel University School of Public Health. His research interests center on the emerging discipline of public health systems and services research, with an emphasis on improving the use of population health information and other evidence in both routine and emergency public health practice, strengthening connections between healthcare and public health services, and achieving the population health benefits of expanding health information automation.
Dr. Buehler served as the Director of the Public Health Surveillance & Informatics Program Office at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. This Office managed several nationwide population health monitoring systems, including the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and the BioSense 2.0 syndromic surveillance system, and it provided informatics infrastructure services for CDC programs and state and local health departments. The Office was also the focal point at CDC for addressing cross-cutting issues in public health surveillance and informatics, most notably the public health opportunities arising from the growing use of electronic health records and electronic health information exchange.
From 1981 through 2002, Dr. Buehler served as a medical epidemiologist in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service at CDC, where he worked in a variety of areas, including general field epidemiology, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, STD, and TB prevention, and, briefly in in the Fall of 2001, anthrax. In 2002, he joined the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University as a Research Professor in the Epidemiology Department, where he also served as a consultant to the Georgia Division of Public Health (state health department) and as the public health representative to the state’s Health Information Technology and Transparency Advisory Board. In 2009, he returned to CDC to contribute to the national response to H1N1 pandemic influenza.
Dr. Buehler is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the School of Medicine of the University of California at San Francisco. He is board-certified in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine.
Chief of Staff
Nan Feyler, JD, MPH, has been the Chief of Staff for the Department of Public Health since February 2008. In this position, she manages departmental divisions addressing: maternal and child health; chronic disease prevention; childhood lead poisoning prevention; disease surveillance and control; environmental management services, and air quality management. Nan manages a network of eight community-based healthcare centers and the City's public health lab. She advises the Deputy Mayor/Commissioner on a broad range of policy issues.
Nan's previous positions include: Executive Director of the Nationalities Services Center, Executive Director of the AIDS Law Project, and private consulting about healthcare access. Nan received her education from the New College of the University of South Florida, New York University School of Law, and Columbia University. Nan received bar admission to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1989 and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1991. She has taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Bryn Mawr College.
Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration
Tara Mohr is the Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In this position, she oversees a complex budget of approximately $335 million (FY13) for the Department's ten operating divisions. Tara first joined the City's Office of Emergency Shelter and Services (currently known as the Office of Supportive Housing) in 2001 working as an intern, and was subsequently hired as a Special Projects Coordinator, a position she held until 2004. After a brief absence from the City of Philadelphia, she returned to the Managing Director's Office in 2005 to assist with overseeing the implementation of contract reform. In 2008, Tara assumed leadership on contract reform and worked to standardize contract policies and procedures across all City departments. In August 2011, she joined the Department of Public Health as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Finance and Administration, and was promoted to Deputy Commissioner in August 2012. Tara has a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Planning and a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Rice University (Houston, Texas).
Director of Policy and Planning
Giridhar Mallya, MD, MHSP, has been the Director of Policy and Planning for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health since October 2008. In this position, Dr. Mallya helps to define public health priorities for the City, coordinates the Department’s research and data analysis activities, and works with key leadership—including the Board of Health and the Air Pollution Control Board—to set policies and develop regulations. He is also the Primary Investigator for Philadelphia’s CDC-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work Tobacco Policy & Control and Nutrition & Physical Activity initiatives.
Dr. Mallya graduated from Brown University Medical School in Providence, RI, and completed a residency in Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Following residency, Dr. Mallya was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Masters Degree in Health Policy Research.
Deputy Health Commissioner and Director in the Office of Health and Opportunity
Kevin Vaughan has been a Deputy Health Commissioner since March 2007, and assumed the added role as Director in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity in 2008. He is responsible for the consolidation and coordination of HR Administration for four City departments (Health, Human Services, Behavioral Health, Homeless Services), and is responsible for internal customer service for the department (HR, IT, communications, facilities management, Medical Evaluation Unit and contract compliance for Philadelphia Nursing Home). Kevin advises the Deputy Mayor/Commissioner on a broad range of policy and legislative issues and serves as the Departmental Integrity Officer.
Kevin's previous positions with the City of Philadelphia include: Chief of Staff in the Managing Director’s Office; Associate Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia; Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations; Director of the Fair Housing Commission; and Director of Legislation for the Office of City Councilman Angel Ortiz. Kevin also served as Regional Director for the U.S. Department Health and Human Services, Region III. He received his education from the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.