What we do
The Department of Public Health works to make Philadelphia a healthy place to live, work, and play.
- Provides high-quality medical care at community health centers.
- Prevents the spread of illness and infectious disease.
- Protects against environmental hazards.
- Encourages healthy behaviors to prevent chronic disease.
- Plans and responds to health emergencies.
- Ensures the quality and accessibility of health services.
- Sets health policy.
- Collects, analyzes, and reports on a variety of public health data.
By providing a safety net to the City’s most vulnerable people, we work to keep everyone in Philadelphia healthy.
Every week, we report on the Philadelphia Resilience Project, the City’s emergency response to combat to opioid crisis. Right now, the efforts are focused on Kensington and surrounding neighborhoods — the epicenter of the opioid crisis — but we expect to expand to other sections of the city as needed.
Over the last week:
- 100 percent of all people residing in the Navigation Center have now started their housing and treatment plans.
- Encampment closure effort continues with outreach to all individuals in the Frankford Avenue encampment, slated for closure on November 15. Outreach also continues to individuals residing in the Emerald Street encampment, slated for closure on January 15.
- Police-Assisted Diversion (PAD) is on track to begin November 15. PAD is a harm reduction based approach giving police an alternative to arrest and prosecution. Through PAD, officers are able to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or other activity to community-based services instead of simply prosecution and jail.
- Following the large-scale cleanup along Kensington Avenue on November 1, additional cleanups are now scheduled for November 10 and 17 and December 8; seven participants from the Center for Employment Opportunities, a workforce development organization, are cleaning with CLIP three days a week.
- A bike group called KIND — Kensington Initiative on Needle Disposal — is now performing weekly cleanups along with providing overdose prevention and other services.
- All service agencies and providers in the area have been asked to increase HIV screening activities among drug users by at least 25 percent; between October 15 and 31, 168 HIV screening tests were performed, an increase of 31 percent. 10 of 11 people found with new HIV infection were successfully linked to medical care.
- The community calendar is live and now publicly available at phila.gov/opioids and a community meeting with local neighborhood representatives and faith-based groups is scheduled for November 16.
Nothing from November 14, 2018 to February 14, 2019.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., is a physician trained in pediatrics and epidemiology who has worked in a variety of roles in public health. In 2015, Farley 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, Farley was the health commissioner for New York City. Before joining the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Agency, Farley was chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. 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.