PHILADELPHIA – The City provided the following updates regarding the recent mishandling of the MOVE victims’ remains:
Health Commissioner Search Process: The City retained DSS Global, an international executive search firm specializing in multicultural recruiting and diverse leadership talent to initiate a national search for a permanent Health Commissioner. The job description is posted on a variety of professional medical sites and is available HERE. Interviews are expected to commence this month.
Regarding what he’s looking for in the next Commissioner, Mayor Kenney said, “Our next Health Commissioner should have extensive experience working in public health, leadership and working with diverse, underserved communities, as well as a demonstrated commitment to advancing the department’s health equity agenda. It’s an incredible opportunity to double down on everything we’ve learned from the pandemic to improve health outcomes in all corners of our city.”
Independent Investigation: We have finalized the investigatory team to uncover answers to many disturbing questions stemming from this recent incident as well as the handling of all MOVE victim’s remains. The lead attorneys, Robert Heim of Dechert and Keir Bradford-Grey of Montgomery McCracken, met with the members of the Africa family and City officials on Thursday, July 1. The investigation is expected to take up to six months to complete.
Improvements to the Operations of the Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO): We are evaluating MEO policies and procedures. In cooperation and conjunction with the independent investigation, an advisory panel of experts in the field will be assembled to understand current practices and review best practices. The goal is to develop written policies and procedures using a racial equity lens. We will pursue accreditation through the National Association of Medical Examiners, although we recognize that that process begins with the development of written policies and procedures and will take time to complete.