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Health Commissioner's Office Review Committee

The Health Commissioner's Office (HCO) Review Committee serves to:

  • Ensure that all research involving PDPH data, staff, programs or clients supports the mission of the Department.
  • Ensure that PDPH staff are active collaborators on all proposals initiated by external researchers, where appropriate.
  • Ensure that the Health Commissioner is aware of the findings from these endeavors and their public health implications.

The HCO Review Committee does not take the place of the Department’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Research involving human subjects still requires the review of the IRB.


Jane Baker – Chief of Staff
Caroline Johnson, MD – Acting Deputy Health Commissioner
Raynard Washington, PhD, MPH – Chief Epidemiologist


The HCO Review Committee protocol applies to both internal PDPH proposals and proposals led by external researchers. The protocol applies to the following types of scientific endeavors:

  • Proposals for research or public health analysis that will result in publication and/or conference presentation
  • Manuscripts submitted for publication
  • Conference abstract submissions

Timeline and Procedures

Generally, submissions to the Review Committee must be made two weeks prior to initiation of research or two weeks prior to submission of research product to a journal or conference. Electronic submissions are preferred.

Submissions should include:

  • Executive summary (for research proposals), manuscript, or abstract
  • Completed HCO Review Committee submission form
  • Written approval from Division Director (email approval is sufficient)

Submission Form