Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole is a board-certified family physician and has served as the Director of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention for the Department of Public Health since 2015.
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)
Jane Baker was appointed Chief of Staff for the Department of Public Health in July 2014. Baker has served in the department for 25 years. As Chief of Staff she is responsible for the following: administrative coordination for the Human Resources Office, the Office of Facilities Management (OFM), Performance Management Unit (PMU) and Accreditation Services, and Communications.
Baker oversees the programmatic contract compliance for the Philadelphia Nursing Home. She is also the liaison for City Council staffers, assisting them with a myriad of health-related constituent concerns.
As a result of her long history in the department, Baker advises the Health Commissioner on a broad range of departmental policy and legislative issues and serves as the department’s Integrity Officer. She also oversees the support services in the Office of the Health Commissioner. Baker has a graduate degree in clinical psychology from LaSalle University.
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.
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.