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Dr. Megan Todd, from the neck up. A light skinned with neck length straight brown hair. She is facing the viewer and is smiling. Behind her is a line of brick houses.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Megan Todd.

Philadelphia Department of Health appoints new Chief Epidemiologist

Dr. Megan Todd joins the CIty’s Health Department as their next Chief Epidemiologist, having worked with the Department prior.

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The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has announced the appointment of Dr. Megan Todd as their new Chief Epidemiologist. Her work has centered on population health, health policy, and making scientific discoveries more understandable for policy making and for general audiences.

Dr. Todd is a demographer and social epidemiologist, combining skills of population statistics and public health measurements to seek ways to better understand the social, economic, and biological factors that influence health and mortality, with an ultimate goal of the elimination of all health disparities in health in Philadelphia, especially those with racial and socioeconomic causes.

Her most recent prior position was serving as the Director of the Data Lab for the Health Department's Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention (CDIP).

“I am grateful to have Dr. Todd leading our epidemiological work, which is so critical to taking a data-driven approach to public health in Philadelphia. Her collaborative approach, focus on the accessibility of our data to policy makers, community members, and academics, and the work she has done to mentor and support our epidemiologists will help to build this crucial area of our work for the future,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole in a statement.

In her prior role, she led the CDIP Data Lab in the development of PhilaStats, an online dashboard that displays trends in population, mortality, and natality in Philadelphia. These statistics are shown in social context, highlighting the disparities by race and ethnicity, poverty status, and levels of education in the City.

Dr. Todd additionally collaborated on an annual public report by the Department releasing information on lead poisoning, one that included statistics on disparities by race and ethnicity in lead poisoning and screening.

“In prior roles, I have worked to understand how social disadvantage gets under the skin to cause health disadvantage. I am excited to take on the new challenges of the Chief Epidemiologist position and to build on the Health Department’s efforts to communicate public health data in a clear, accessible, and interactive way,” Dr. Todd said in a statement.

“Understanding these data is essential to the Health Department’s efforts to improve health and reduce disparities across the city,” she continued.

Dr. Todd earned her PhD in Demography and Public Affairs from Princeton University, and earned an AB in Economics from Harvard University.

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