Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole, M.D., M.P.H., is a board-certified family physician. She served as the Director of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention for the Department of Public Health from 2015 to 2022.
Prior to that position, Dr. Bettigole served as the Chief Medical Office of Complete Care Health Network, a Federally Qualified/Migrant Health Center in New Jersey, and as the Clinical Director of Health Center #10. She saw patients in the City health centers for more than 12 years. She was the president of the National Physicians Alliance (now part of Doctors for America) in 2012/2013, where she helped build a task force on gun violence prevention and advocated for access to quality, affordable healthcare for all.
Dr. Bettigole has also served as a member of the Health Department’s COVID-19 team during the pandemic. She is deeply committed to health justice for all Philadelphians.
(photo by Emma Lee, WHYY)
Palak Raval-Nelson is Deputy Health Commissioner for the Department of Public Health. She has worked for the department since 1996 when she began her career as a public health sanitarian. Since then, she has served as a supervisor, manager, administrator, and most recently as director of Environmental Health Services. As Deputy Health Commissioner, Raval-Nelson has oversight of Environmental Health Services, Air Management Services, Public Health Laboratory, and the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office.
Raval-Nelson also serves as adjunct faculty at Drexel University’s School of Public Health and Temple University. She teaches environmental and occupational health, as well as vulnerable populations and the environment. She has presented many papers at NEHA, PPHA, and APHA, and has had several publications in the National Journal of Environmental Health. In 2008, she published her first book, Breast Cancer Politics: An Evaluation of the Current Funding Policies. She has graduated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute.
Raval-Nelson has her B.S. in Biology from Temple University, her M.P.H. from MCP Hahnemann University (graduating with the distinguished Hiega Society Award), and her Ph.D. in environmental health and policy from Drexel University. She is a member of the Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society. She was recognized in 2006 by the Society of Women Environmental Professionals as an outstanding woman environmental professional for the Delaware Valley.
Raval-Nelson is deeply committed on working with vulnerable populations and being a voice for marginalized communities to ensure equity and environment justice. She has been a civil servant for 26 years and believes in helping people.
Gail Carter-Hamilton served as the Pediatric Partnerships Manager in the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Containment Division from August 2020 until her appointment as Chief Racial Equity Officer in January 2022. In her previous role, Ms. Carter Hamilton was the primary coordinator for the implementation of the City’s COVID-19 guidance and regulations at all schools and early childcare settings in Philadelphia.
Carter-Hamilton completed her B.S. in nursing at La Salle and her M.S. in nursing at Wilmington University. 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.
Carter-Hamilton is a Philadelphia native who lives in Mount Airy with her husband, son, and dog Brady.
James Garrow has served as Communications Director for the Department of Public Health since 2018. Previously, he held positions with the department as Director of Digital Public Health, Operations and Logistics Manager, and Health Communications Specialist. He has presented internationally on topics of digital media, crisis communications, and emergency risk communication.
Garrow was born and raised in the Frankford section of Philadelphia, attended Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University. He lives in Roxborough with his wife and three children.
Jessica M. Baptiste is the Policy Advisor for the Office of the Health Commissioner, and advises the Commissioner on local, state, and federal policy and legislative developments in public health that would impact the Department and its divisions. She also serves as the primary contact for elected officials and their staff, as well as coalitions and organizations.
Baptiste has been with the Department of Public Health since 2020, previously leading the COVID-19 Containment Division’s Policy team where she worked with other city offices such as the Department of Labor’s Office of Worker Protections to ensure Philadelphia employers knew about their obligations to provide sick leave and time off to employees to care for themselves and their families. She also drafted regulations to protect our City’s oldest residents against SARS COV -2 infection and helped to roll out procedures to get nearly 24,000 City of Philadelphia employees protected against the virus.
Baptiste has worked in policy and legislative roles to secure equitable outcomes for children and families for over 15 years. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in History from DePaul University and her Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law. Baptiste is licensed to practice law in Maryland, although she prefers her courtroom drama in hardcover or paperback editions.
Sara Enes, M.B.A., M.S.W., is the Chief of Staff for the Department of Public Health. She has worked in the department since 2009 and has served as the Patient Assistance Program Coordinator, Medical Affairs Administrator, Assistant Health Center Director, and Health Center Director at Health Center #2 and #6 in the division of Ambulatory Health Services. In August 2022 Enes became the Acting Director of the Division of Disease Control.
Enes earned both her Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees at Temple University and Master of Business Administration, with a focus on healthcare, at The George Washington University.
Enes is deeply committed to improving access to quality healthcare for underserved communities in Philadelphia.
Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Megan Todd has been with the department since 2019, working most recently as the Director of the Data Lab for the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDIP). Before joining the department, she served as lecturer in the Global Health Program and as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, both at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Columbia Aging Center and Fellow at the Columbia Population Research Center at Columbia University.
In her time at CDIP, Dr. Todd worked to hire and mentor new epidemiologists and to build a team whose work integrates the role of social determinants of health on public health. In addition, she has developed reports and analyses to build our understanding of the factors that lead to early death and disability and the impact of current departmental efforts to address these determinants.
Dr. Todd has a Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Demography from Princeton University, an MA in Public Affairs from Princeton, and an AB in Economics from Harvard University.