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Philadelphia Public Health Grand Rounds

Speaker standing at a podium in front of a crowd and pointing towards a slideshow presentation
Speaker standing at a podium in front of a crowd and pointing towards a slideshow presentation

The Philadelphia Public Health Grand Rounds series is jointly sponsored by the Section on Public Health and Preventive Medicine of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) with funding support from the Independence Foundation.


The Public Health Grand Rounds series aims to:
  • Foster improved cohesion and connections among members of the public health community in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley region,
  • Focus the attention of the public health community on important public health issues that affect our community, and
  • Strengthen capacities to promote and protect health in the city and the region by sharing knowledge about important public health problems and promising opportunities and efforts to address those problems in our area.

Upcoming Grand Rounds

Stay tuned for our next Grand Rounds!

Past Grand Rounds

  • Reproductive Health, "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," can be a metric of the overall health of a population. Ranging from pregnancy-related complications and deaths, access to health services, disparities in related resources, and changing state and local policies and practices, reproductive health reflects the complex interplay of multiple determinants of health beyond the biomedical realm.

  • Racism was declared a public health issue by all major public health groups. As the birth place of our nation, of modern medicine, and as a leader in education, the city of Philadelphia has a long and storied past with racism and structural inequities. How will we reconcile our past with our present to better the health of our communities? Join us for a discussion on racism and health in the city.

  • The global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has illustrated the role of the front line of health systems in addressing urgent, emergent and even catastrophic needs of populations across the world. Emergency Departments (EDs) exist at the nexus of several systems and especially at the interface of the hospital system and the communities they serve. EDs may be the only guarantee to healthcare in the U.S. and by their function and location situated within communities, they are universally accessible to anyone who needs them. They are also the only part of the medical system that is user triggered. Consequently, Emergency Departments have a unique perspective on the needs in the communities they serve, how the social determinants of health impact access to care, disease presentation and medical decision making and how multiple systems and disciplines intersect to address acute care needs and beyond.

  • A healthy start in life is the foundation for economic prosperity and a thriving Philadelphia. Ensuring safe and healthy environments for Philadelphia’s children to grow is a top priority for the city. The most recent Public Health Department’s report, "Growing Up, Philly", provides the backdrop of this Public Health Grand Rounds. A robust discussion on the practices and policies to address health, education, advocacy and development will engage partners across the city and provide resources and action steps.

  • As Pennsylvania moves towards serious discussions about the legalization of marijuana, this event brought together subject matter experts, community leaders, clinicians, researchers, public health advocates and policy makers for a multifaceted discussion on ways to address the needs of our community and city as a whole. The esteemed panel of experts discussed how the marijuana legalization movement affects the social determinants of health, with a focus on marginalized groups and young people. The panel also discussed how to engage the community and advocate for racial and social justice appropriate responses to legalization, while balancing the challenges around youth access and injury prevention. The audience contributed insightful comments and questions to round out the discussion and look ahead at potential next steps.

  • This City-Wide Public Health Grand Rounds explored harm reduction as an evidence based approach to care not only for people who use drugs (PWUD), but vulnerable populations as a whole.

    The esteemed panel of experts discussed policy underpinnings of harm reduction, harm reduction as it relates to public health and infectious diseases, harm reduction and clinical approaches to addressing Substance Use Disorders, in general, and Opioid Use Disorder, in particular, including the stigma that poses a significant barrier, and finally the concept of harm reduction in engaging community involvement and advocacy.

    As Philadelphia continues to struggle with the effects of the opioid crisis in our midst, this event brought together subject matter experts, community leaders, clinicians, researchers, public health advocates and policy makers for a multifaceted discussion on ways to address the needs of our community and city as a whole.

  • Multiple reports have demonstrated that having a regular source of primary care enhances receipt of prevent care services and improves health outcomes.  However, many factors may affect access to primary care, including health insurance; work, family, and school commitments; difficulties traveling to primary care facilities; lack of primary care providers; and lack of knowledge about the health care system.  Social determinants of health, including race/ethnicity, also are associated with disparities in receipt of primary care.  This Public Health Grand Rounds will explore barriers to accessing primary care in the Philadelphia area and examine solutions to improve access to care among underserved populations.  

  • Syphilis infections have increased in Philadelphia over the past several years, largely among men who have sex with men (MSM). While the number of individuals newly diagnosed with HIV in Philadelphia has steadily declined since the mid-2000s, the rate of new cases is also highest among MSM. In addition, rates of new HIV diagnosis are highest among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black individuals, and a majority of new HIV infections in Philadelphia occur among non-Hispanic Blacks. This session will explore these trends and others changes in STD/HIV infection in Philadelphia, including the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention and social/cultural challenges in reaching high-risk communities.

  • Excessive alcohol use causes substantial negative health impacts. In addition, alcohol sales may also adversely affect public health and community wellbeing. This session will explore the intertwined nature of alcohol use and violence. The location and characteristics of alcohol outlets can have significant impact on neighborhood violence rates, and there are close links between alcohol use, firearm homicide, and suicide. Healthcare providers and public health professionals may have opportunities to reduce violence in a community through interventions that target alcohol.

  • Public health officials, educators, and community advocates came together to discuss the epidemiology of obesity in Philadelphia, the status of the sweetened beverage and its effects on consumer purchases, and how healthcare providers and community advocates can help with prevention.

  • Public health officials, healthcare providers, and community advocates came together to discuss the epidemiology of gun violence in Philadelphia, how healthcare providers can effect policy change, and innovative approaches to prevention.

  • Physicians present the epidemiology of infant sleep deaths in Philadelphia, review safe sleep practices, and discuss how to communicate with parents and caregivers about safe sleep.

  • Learn about innovative policy solutions that improve public health by addressing the causes and effects of poverty. Speakers pay special attention to the role of trauma and mental health for those living in poverty.

  • Learn about innovative approaches to childhood asthma prevention  in Philadelphia. Clinical and community-based interventions are explored, and speakers pay special attention to the home environment and its role in asthma.

  • Philadelphia public health and clinical leaders gathered at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia to discuss the effects of tobacco retail marketing on the health of Philadelphians and the policy steps the City is taking to address the problem.

  • Representatives from the City of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and Prevention Point Philadelphia gathered to discuss the substance abuse epidemic, focusing mainly on opiods.