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The Inspirational Journey of Palak Raval-Nelson: From Civil Servant to Author and Advocate for Equity in Public Health

Department of Public Health Leadership

The Inspirational Journey of Palak Raval-Nelson: From Civil Servant to Author and Advocate for Equity in Public Health

Palak Raval-Nelson is a seasoned public health professional with over 26 years of experience as a civil servant. She currently serves as the Deputy Health Commissioner for the Department of Public Health, where she has been working since 1996. In this role, she oversees Environmental Health Services, Air Management Services, Public Health Laboratory, and the AIDS Activities Coordinating Office.

Raval-Nelson’s career in public health began as a public health sanitarian and has since advanced through various roles such as supervisor, manager, administrator, and director of Environmental Health Services. Her passion for improving public health led her to also serve as adjunct faculty at Drexel University’s School of Public Health and Temple University. Here, she teaches courses on environmental and occupational health, as well as vulnerable populations and the environment.

Raval-Nelson is an accomplished author and scholar in the field of public health. She has presented papers at NEHA, PPHA, and APHA conferences and has publications in the National Journal of Environmental Health. Her first book, Breast Cancer Politics: An Evaluation of the Current Funding Policies was published in 2008. Additionally, she graduated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute.

Raval-Nelson holds a B.S. in Biology from Temple University, an M.P.H from MCP Hahnemann University (where she graduated with distinction), and a Ph.D in environmental health and policy from Drexel University. She is a member of the Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society and was recognized by the Society of Women Environmental Professionals in 2006 as an outstanding woman environmental professional for the Delaware Valley region.

Deeply committed to working with vulnerable populations and advocating for marginalized communities, Raval-Nelson strives to ensure equity

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