Philly’s New Health Commissioner is Dr. Cheryl Bettigole
She had been serving as Acting Health Commissioner since May 2021 after former health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley stepped down.
Dr. Cheryl Bettigole has been named Philadelphia’s new health commissioner.
She had been serving as Acting Health Commissioner since May 2021.
In a statement announcing her permanent appointment as Philly’s Health Commissioner, Mayor Jim Kenney praised Dr. Bettigole’s commitment to prioritizing equity, access and prevention in public health.
“I’m confident that with her experience, vision and steadfast leadership, we’ve found the best person to lead the Health Department as we work urgently on multiple fronts to ensure the health and wellbeing of all residents,” said Kenney.
Dr. Bettigole has been the Director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health (PDPH) since 2015.
Her work has led to new regulations on harmful tobacco products, the establishment of a new injury prevention program focused on the prevention of gun violence, and the PDPH Coronavirus Interim Racial Equity Plan designed to mitigate disparities in how COVID-19 affected Black and Hispanic residents in the city.
Upon her appointment, Dr. Bettigole expressed how honored she is to serve the city of Philadelphia and further the goal of promoting and protecting the health of all Philadelphians.
She had been serving as Acting Health Commissioner since May 2021, leading the City’s COVID-19 pandemic response with a specific emphasis on equity. This work contributed to ending disparities in vaccination rates for Black and Hispanic residents aged 45 and over. Compared to other large U.S. cities, Philadelphia’s vaccination rate for Black and Hispanic residents is among the highest.
“I look forward to continuing this work with my colleagues and our many valued partners throughout the city,” said Dr. Bettigole.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of equity, access, and the use of a data-informed approach in every aspect of public health, and I am committed to championing those priorities in the work ahead,” she added.
Dr. Bettigole’s prior experience includes serving as Chief Medical Officer of Complete Care Health Network, and as a Family Physician and Clinical Director with Philadelphia’s City Health Centers, where she worked with patients for over 12 years.
She is a board-certified family physician with a Doctor of Medicine from Thomas Jefferson University, and holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a Master in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Bettigole succeeds former Philly Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, who resigned from his post in May 2021 after controversy surrounding his handling of the 1985 MOVE bombing victims.