PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announces the appointment of Andrew R. Best Jr. DPA, MPA, MSS, LSW as director of the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction ( SUPHR). SUPHR is the division of the Health Department working to alleviate the ongoing overdose crisis across the city. Their work is a combination of public health data tracking, innovative harm reduction activities and community engagement.
Although Dr. Best’s ultimate goal has always been to administer and manage public health care programs, much of his work over the past eight years has been performed in various capacities for the Department of Health. behavioral and developmental disability services in the city of Philadelphia. Her roles there provided her with deep individual engagement with victims of addiction and homelessness. Dr Best says: “This work has helped me understand the enormous importance of first having hands-on experience working in the field before moving into critical administrative roles.
According to Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Frank Franklin, “Dr. Best’s administrative background in substance use prevention and homelessness services and his front-line experience as a clinician practitioner uniquely positions him as a timely asset to strategically shape the Department’s efforts to improve the substance use prevention capacity and expand harm reduction efforts in the city.
Most recently, Dr. Best served as the Health Program Manager for the Single County Authority (SCA) Operations Unit. In this role, Dr. Best’s extensive practical experience with behavioral issues has qualified him to manage substance use prevention, early intervention, recovery support, and treatment programs, in addition to grant implementation, contract/program monitoring and financial management for the SCA.
Dr. Best earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Howard University at a time when he wanted to serve the needs of the at-risk community as an advocate and advocate. However, as a child who was directly exposed to those who needed help navigating the public health care system due to substance abuse issues, Dr. Best decided he could better serve that community by administering and managing the programs providing these services. Thus, he obtained a master’s degree in public administration from West Chester University and became a certified clinical social worker from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. He went on to earn a doctorate in public administration from West Chester University, where his dissertation focused on comparing rates of prescription opioid use among adolescents and the dates of implementation of drug monitoring programs on prescription (PDMP).
Dr. Best’s roots are in North Carolina, but he resides in Philadelphia where he remains deeply committed to working with marginalized communities to ensure adequate access to health care, behavioral health services, food, housing and support. education. Dr. Best believes that “we are at a pivotal moment in history for substance use prevention and harm reduction services in Philadelphia; my goal is to ensure that these services are easily accessible and available to all Philadelphians.