Nutter appoints Board of Health

Mayor Nutter just announced his seven appointees to the city Board of Health. Check out the release:


Philadelphia, October 14, 2008 – Today, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced his seven appointees to the Board of Health: José Benitez, Dr. Marla Gold, Dr. Shannon Márquez, Dr. A. Scott McNeal, Dr. Susan Schewel, Dr. Robert G. Sharrar and Dr. Yolanda A. Slaughter. Dr. Donald Schwarz, Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity, will serve as President of the Board through his role as Health Commissioner.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to recruit individuals of such excellence to serve on the Board, and thank each of them for their generous commitment of time and talent to the City and its residents,” said Mayor Nutter.

The Board of Health is a departmental board of the Department of Public Health. The board is composed of the Health Commissioner, who serves as President, and seven mayoral appointees. Of these seven members, three must be physicians - one of them having a degree of Doctor of Master of Public Health - and one must be a dentist having a degree of Doctor of Master of Public Health. The board is responsible for promulgating the health regulations of the Department of Public Health. These regulations establish public health standards for administration and practice that effectively control public health hazards and preserve and promote the health of the people of Philadelphia. Board members review scientific, technical, and administrative advances in the field of public health to ensure that the City’s health regulations reflect best possible practices. Board members receive $30 for each meeting attended, not to exceed $360 annually.

“This administration has appointed an activist Board of Health of highest qualification to review the health department’s regulations which affect so many facets of the quality of daily life,” said Donald Schwarz. “This Board brings a broad range of expertise to the examination of regulations for areas as disparate as environmental health, food protection, disease control, animal control, and the delivery of maternal health services. It is also a Board that is representative of the diverse communities it serves, and one that can exercise leadership and guidance in helping to establish future direction and current priorities for the health department.

Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor Schwarz thanked the outgoing members for their dedication and service to the board.


José A. Benitez is the Executive Director of Prevention Point Philadelphia, a social services agency serving those at high-risk for HIV/AIDS and other illnesses through education, outreach, and needle exchange. Mr. Benitez has 20 years of experience in serving those with HIV and AIDS, and is known for his advocacy for HIV prevention throughout the City, particularly in the Latino community.

Dr. Marla Gold, is Dean of the School of Public Health at Drexel University. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of public health and is known internationally for her passionate advocacy for public health approaches. She served the City of Philadelphia as Assistant Health Commissioner and head of HIV/AIDS services in the 1990s and has served on the Board of Health since 2004.

Dr. Shannon Márquez is Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of the Master of Public Health Program at Temple University. Dr. Márquez is internationally-recognized for her work in environmental health and has worked throughout Africa on issues of sanitation and water safety, and here in the United States has been known as a strong advocate for industrial hygiene and occupational health.

Dr. A. Scott McNeal currently serves as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. Board certified in family practice, Dr. McNeal earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the Eastern Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physicians Society, among others.

Dr. Susan Schewel is Executive Director of the Women’s Medical Fund of Philadelphia. Trained as a nurse practitioner and maternity nurse, she is nationally-known for her work as an advocate for women’s health and the reproductive rights of women. She has background in family planning programming, HIV issues with minority women, and breastfeeding advocacy in minority communities.

Dr. Robert G. Sharrar is a nationally-known expert in infectious disease epidemiology. Former head of Disease Control for the City of Philadelphia and Executive Director for Worldwide Product Safety and Epidemiology for Merck, Dr. Sharrar brings more than 30 years of experience in the investigation of disease and the impacts of new technologies on public health. Additionally, he is well-versed in the workings of government, particularly in the area of policy development and enforcement.

Dr. Yolanda A. Slaughter is Assistant Professor of Community Oral Health in Preventive and Restorative Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Slaughter is recognized as a national expert in the geriatric oral health, particularly among minority populations. Additionally, she has been a leader in the analysis of workforce issues for the American Dental Association.