PHILADELPHIA—In January 2022, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health hired their first Chief Racial Equity Officer, Gail Carter Hamilton, MSN, RN, CSN. This newly created position is intended to centralize and spearhead efforts to ensure racial equity in Health Department operations and activities and to help guide planning to address health inequities in Philadelphia.
“Many of the public health issues that Philadelphia faces are due to or exacerbated by historical and systemic racism,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “The Health Department is committed to ameliorating these problems from a place that acknowledges that racism. Having Ms. Carter Hamilton in the Health Commissioner’s Office gives her a bird’s eye view of our operations and the ability to help guide our processes. I am excited to have someone with her expertise and dedication on the team.”
“I am committed to working to address heath equity and health justice in Philadelphia,” said Gail Carter Hamilton, the Health Department’s Chief Racial Equity Officer. “So many of our communities are struggling under the dual burden of systemic racism and the pandemic, which led to much worse outcomes in communities of color. I look forward to ensuring that racial equity is at the heart of our operations and that we are able to build sustainable partnerships throughout the city in order to maintain robust public health programs.”
Previously, Ms. Carter Hamilton worked as the Health Department’s Pediatric Partnerships Manager, coordinating the implementation of the City’s COVID-19 guidance and regulations at all schools and early childcare settings in Philadelphia. Carter-Hamilton completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at La Salle and her Master of Science in Nursing degree at Wilmington University. In the past, she has served as a school nurse for the Philadelphia city schools and has had the opportunity to care for various populations at local hospitals.
A headshot and brief biographical sketch are provided on the Health Department’s Staff webpage. Ms. Carter Hamilton is available for interview upon request.