Sami Kamal Jarrah

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Health Commissioner

Philadelphia Department of Public Health

Sami Jarrah has served as the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s chief operating officer since 2016. In this role, he leads the agency’s finance, budget, contracts, grants, state and federal policy, and information technology functions. He also advises the health commissioner on a broad range of policy and operational issues and represents the department to internal and external partners. Previously, Sami worked at the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, Ore. In this role, he directed programs and advocated for policies that increased access to health services for low-income, refugee, and undocumented immigrant communities, reduced recidivism for inmates, and increased collaboration between public health and health care systems.

Sami earned his undergraduate degree from Davidson College and his MPH from the University of Washington.

BOLD SOLUTION: Sami developed a plan for increasing Medicaid revenue, estimated at an extra $15 million in annual recurring revenue for health services through a novel state plan waiver. Once complete, this will be transformational for the health department. New funding will enable them to tackle new work on gun policy, behavioral health services, asthma prevention and programming, maternal and child health interventions, equity-focused lead home remediations, safety net health care services, and more. They will open a new city health center site for the first time in decades. The expansion will save hundreds if not thousands of lives over the long term in Philadelphia.
In every role, I bring my identity to my work -- as a son of a Muslim immigrant, a gay man, and a person with working-class roots.