From Opioids Back to Yellow Fever: Public Health in Philadelphia

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States

Long known as the birthplace of American history, Philadelphia has also dubbed itself the birthplace for medical innovation, and with good reason: our nation’s first hospital, first medical college, and one of the first health boards emerged in this city.

Over the course of its history, Philadelphia confronted and responded to a litany of devastating epidemics, from yellow fever to cholera to influenza to HIV. Now facing such health threats as opioid addiction and climate change, Philadelphia must tap into the innovative spirit of its medical past.

In collaboration with Global Philadelphia Association, we’re reflecting on the city’s medical heritage with a talk featuring public historians and public health specialists, including Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

Moderator: Sarah Sharp, World Heritage Education Consultant at the Global Philadelphia Association


  • James Higgins, Lecturer at Rider University & Contributor to the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

  • Robert Hicks, Director of the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians

  • Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health

  • Alison Kenner, Assistant Professor of History & Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University

The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

Prior to the event, view original documents from HSP’s collections on yellow fever, polio, HIV, and the opioid crisis.

Event Type: 
GlobalPhilly 2019 Events
GlobalPhilly 2019
Medical Heritage
Science and Technology