2022 Jamison Lecture
7th Annual Jamison Lecture
Part of the Paup Lecture Series
Navigating the Pandemic: Perspectives on Public Health and Public Policy
- Philip Huang, MD, MPH, Director and Health Authority for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department
- Matt Richardson, DrPH, MPH, FACHE, Director of Public Health for Denton County Public Health
- Stephen Williams, MEd, MPA, Director for the Houston Health Department
Moderated by Clare Brock, PhD, TWU Assistant Professor of American Politics and Public Policy
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Health officials from Dallas, Denton and Houston discussed how they navigated public health and policy during the COVID pandemic. They spoke on dealing with changing federal guidance, science and the directives of state governments and school districts. These officials were placed in an extraordinarily delicate and tenuous position over the past two years and had to overcome challenges dealing with social solidarity, community health and questions of federalism and state and local control.
They also offered their views on how the rest of the pandemic will play out, how well prepared we are for the next pandemic and what we can do to improve future pandemic responses.
- This lecture was free and open to the public.
- A question-and-answer session followed the discussion.
Philip Huang, MD, MPH
Dr. Philip Huang has been the Director and Health Authority for the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department since February 2019. Prior to this, he served for 11 years as Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin Public Health department. He received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Rice University, his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and his Master’s in Public Health from Harvard with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. While at Harvard, he led the successful movement to divest of their tobacco stocks. Dr. Huang completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, and was Chief Resident during his final year. He served two years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assigned to the Illinois Department of Public Health where he conducted epidemiologic studies in chronic disease and infectious disease outbreak investigations. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the University Of Texas School Of Public Health, Austin Campus. He has served as Principal Investigator for numerous CDC and State-funded public health cooperative agreements.
Matt Richardson, DrPH, MPH, FACHE
Dr. Matt Richardson was appointed as the Director of Public Health for Denton County in the summer of 2014. Richardson previously served as Director with the City of Amarillo and Potter/Randall Counties for 9 years. Richardson has authored peer-reviewed publications, testified to the Texas Legislature regarding public health issues and continues to advocate for public health practice and resources for Denton County and the state of Texas.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Abilene Christian University and both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Public Health from the University of North Texas. He is currently board certified and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Dr. Richardson also serves as an accreditation site reviewer for public health programs in universities across the US.
Richardson lives in Argyle with his wife of 25 years and their two daughters.
Stephen L. Williams, MEd, MPA
Stephen Williams serves as the Director for the Houston Health Department (HHD), a full service public health department with 1300+ employees serving the 2.3 million residents of Houston while also overseeing a $166 million budget. He is actively involved in Public Health issues at the local, state and national levels. Under his leadership, HHD has become more visible and the citizens of Houston have been afforded a better quality of life. He currently serves on the COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel (EVAP) to develop vaccine allocation strategies as recommendations to the Texas Commissioner of Health for the state of Texas. He has spear-headed the implementation and institution of several programs in HHD such as See to Succeed, Assessment, Intervention and Mobilization (AIM), Project Saving Smiles and pioneering the Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment efforts through the Enroll Gulf Coast collaborative.
Williams received his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University New York, Masters of Education from the Auburn University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Social Work from Huntingdon College. He is an Alumnus of the American Leadership Forum, Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter/Medical Community Class, and is a graduate of the National Urban Fellowship Program and Executive Leadership Institute sponsored by the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.
Williams chairs the Texas Department of State Health Services Public Health Funding and Policy Committee (Senate Bill 969), is the past Board President of the Coalition of the Homeless of Houston/Harris County, and a former Chair of the Harris County System of Hope. He is an Adjunct Professor at the UT School of Public Health and serves on the National Commission on Prevention Priorities, Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health External Advisory Board, Texas Agri-Life Extension Services Urban Advisory Board and Texas Health Improvement Network Advisory Board Council.
He is a member of the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO), Texas Association of City and County Health Officials (TACCHO), American Public Health Association (APHA), Rotary Club of Houston and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA).
Prior to serving as the Health Director in Houston, Stephen also served as Administrator of Public Health and Deputy Director of Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department and Executive Manager, Travis County Health Human Services and Veterans Services.
Clare Brock, PhD
Clare Brock is an assistant professor of American politics and public policy at Texas Woman's University. She completed her undergraduate work at Southwestern University, earning a B.A. in Political Science and Communications, and holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in American Politics and Public Policy from the University of Texas.
Clare's research focuses on agricultural policy and lobbying behavior. More specifically, she studies how polarization impacts lobbying behavior and legislative outcomes in the agricultural and food sectors. Clare relies on statistical analysis, content analysis, and elite interviews to conduct her research. This research has been supported with a Research Enhancement Program grant from Texas Woman's University, as well as with assistance from the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute at the University of Texas.
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