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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

Dr. Thomas Farley

Thomas Farley, MD, MPH, is Health Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia.  Dr. Farley is a physician trained in pediatrics and epidemiology who has worked in a variety of roles in public health.  In 2015, he was the CEO of The Public Good Projects, a nonprofit organization that uses messages in the mass media to combat the nation’s greatest health problems. From 2009 to 2014 Dr. Farley was the Health Commissioner for New York City.  In those years, he advocated for innovative public health policies, including making the city’s parks and beaches smoke-free, prohibiting price discounting of cigarettes, raising the legal sales age of tobacco to 21, capping the portion size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants at 16 ounces, and restricting the burning of air-polluting fuels to heat buildings. 

Before joining the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Agency, Dr. Farley was chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  Trained as a pediatrician, he served in the Centers for Disease Control's Epidemic Intelligence Service and worked for the CDC and the Louisiana Office of Public Health from 1989 to 2000. During that period, Dr. Farley directed programs to control various infectious diseases. He has conducted research and published articles on a wide range of topics, including Legionnaires' disease, prevention of HIV/STDs, infant mortality, and obesity.  

Dr. Farley is coauthor of Prescription for a Healthy Nation (Beacon Press) with RAND Senior Scientist Deborah Cohen and author of Saving Gotham, A Billionaire Mayor, Activist Doctors, and the Fight for 8 Million Lives (W.W. Norton).

Jose A. Benitez
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 J. Gold
Dean Emerita and Professor of Health Management and Policy at Drexel University. Dr. Gold has dedicated her career to understanding and creating integrated systems of health care delivery, issues of public health infrastructure, and health administration and leadership. In the early 1990s, she served as Philadelphia’s Assistant Health Commissioner for Infectious Disease Control in the Public Health Department, where she was responsible for all reportable and communicable diseases and conditions.
Dr. Shannon Márquez
Dr. Márquez is the Associate Vice Provost for Global Health and International Development at Drexel University. In addition, she serves as the Director of the Global Health Program, and Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded Opening Doors for Health Disparities Research Training Program at the Drexel University School of Public Health. Dr. Márquez holds a PhD in environmental sciences and engineering from The UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and has held distinguished international faculty appointments in global health. Dr. Márquez serves on numerous boards and committees including the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities in Global Health (CUGH) and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.
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
Executive Director of the Women's Medical Fund of Philadelphia. Dr. Schewel 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
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
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.

2016 Board of Health Meetings

All meetings are held from 5:30 pm to 7 pm in Room 1450 of the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Boulevard.

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Board Minutes


Board Regulations

Below is a historical record of all health regulations for the City of Philadelphia. Over time, some regulations have been amended, rescinded, or superseded. Therefore, the regulations are listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent versions and changes listed first.

Environmental Health
Food Safety and Nutrition
Infectious Diseases
Medical and Dental Care