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Commissioner's Office

Board of Health

The Board of Health is a departmental board of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The board is composed of the Health Commissioner, who serves as President, and seven Mayoral appointees. Of these seven members, three must be physicians - one of them having a degree of Doctor or Master of Public Health - and one must be a dentist having a degree of Doctor or Master of Public Health.

The board is responsible for promulgating the health regulations of the Department of Public Health. These regulations establish public health standards for administration and practice that effectively control public health hazards and preserve and promote the health of the people of Philadelphia.

Board members review scientific, technical, and administrative advances in the field of public health to ensure that the City's health regulations reflect best possible practices.


Board of Health Members

Donald F. Schwarz is Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity and Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia. Before entering government service, he was Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Deputy Physician-in-Chief and Craig-Dalsimer Division Chief for Adolescent medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine and Nursing at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at Penn.

Dr. Schwarz was an active researcher in the area of adolescent risk behaviors for over 22 years. He received both public and private funding for work that has examined the issues of injury and its prevention in urban, minority communities, public policy approaches to adolescent violence, and physician- and nurse-practice-based interventions to improve outcomes for high-risk infants. Dr. Schwarz served for four years as President of the Board of Directors of Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, has been a member of the Governing council of the American Public Health Association, and is a Board member of numerous local and regional community agencies.

Jose A. Benitez is the Executive Director of Prevention Point Philadelphia, a social services agency serving those at high-risk for HIV/AIDS and other illnesses through education, outreach, and needle exchange. Mr. Benitez has 20 years of experience in serving those with HIV and AIDS, and is known for his advocacy for HIV prevention throughout the City, particularly in the Latino community.

Dr. Marla Gold is Dean of the School of Public Health at Drexel University. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of public health and is known internationally for her passionate advocacy for public health approaches. She served the City of Philadelphia as Assistant Health Commissioner and head of HIV/AIDS services in the 1990s and has served on the Board of Health since 2004.

Dr. Shannon Marquez is Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of the Master of Public Health Program at Temple University. Dr. Marquez is internationally-recognized for her work in environmental health and has worked throughout Africa on issues of sanitation and water safety, and here in the United States has been known as a strong advocate for industrial hygiene and occupational health.

Dr. A. Scott McNeal currently serves as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. Board certified in family practice, Dr. McNeal earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the Eastern Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physicians Society, among others.

Dr. Susan Schewel is Executive Director of the Women's Medical Fund of Philadelphia. Trained as a nurse practitioner and maternity nurse, she is nationally-known for her work as an advocate for women's health and the reproductive rights of women. She has background in family planning programming, HIV issues with minority women, and breastfeeding advocacy in minority communities.

Dr. Robert G. Sharrar is a nationally-known expert in infectious disease epidemiology. Former head of Disease Control for the City of Philadelphia and Executive Director for Worldwide Product Safety and Epidemiology for Merck, Dr. Sharrar brings more than 30 years of experience in the investigation of disease and the impacts of new technologies on public health. Additionally, he is well-versed in the workings of government, particularly in the area of policy development and enforcement.

Dr. Yolanda A. Slaughter is Assistant Professor of Community Oral Health in Preventive and Restorative Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Slaughter is recognized as a national expert in the geriatric oral health, particularly among minority populations. Additionally, she has been a leader in the analysis of workforce issues for the American Dental Association.

2011 Board of Health Meetings

All meetings to be held in Room 1450, Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Boulevard, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm on the following dates:

  • November 10

2011 Board Minutes


2010 Board Minutes


2009 Board Minutes


2008 Board Minutes


Board Meeting Handouts


Information for the Public