About Us

We are a full-service health department that performs many enhanced functions to address health inequities.

Our services benefit all Houston residents, but we also take additional steps to support those most in need, such as low-income mothers and children, the elderly, and minority populations.


The mission of the Houston Health Department is to work in partnership with the community to promote and protect the health and social well-being of Houstonians and the environment in which they live.


The Houston Health Department is accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board.


Self-sufficient families and individuals in safe and healthy communities


  • Accountability
  • Quality
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork/Cooperation
  • Innovation
  • Pro-action
  • Compassion
  • Competency
  • Diversity
  • Efficiency
  • Acceptance/Objectivity

Cross-Cutting Strategies

  • Develop and strengthen quality partnerships
  • Utilize information technology systems optimally
  • Support intersectional initiatives to improve health
  • Develop sustainable strategies
  • Strengthen infrastructure

Director: Stephen L. Williams

Serving as the Director for the Houston Health Department, Mr. Williams is actively involved in public health issues at the local, state and national level. He joined the City of Houston as the director of HHD in June of 2004.

He received his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University New York; a Masters of Education from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama; and his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Social Work from Huntingdon College, also in Montgomery, Alabama.

He serves on several boards of community, professional and civil rights organizations. He is a past president of the Texas Association of Local Health Officials.

Photo of Stephen Williams, Director of Houston Health Department

Health Authority: Dr. David Persse

Serving as the Chief Medical Officer for the City of Houston, Dr. Persse's career in medicine started with ten years experience as a field paramedic and paramedic instructor in upstate New York and New Jersey.

After receiving his pre-med training at Columbia University in New York, he then attended Georgetown University School of Medicine. Graduating with honors in emergency medicine from Georgetown, he then completed residency training in emergency medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California.

Photo of Dr. David Persse, Chief Medical Officer for the City of Houston

Deputy Local Health Authority: Dr. Janeana White

Serving as the Deputy Local Health Authority and a Chief Physician for the Houston Health Department, Dr. White promotes public health practices, value-added hazard analysis and risk assessments, ensuring the health and social well-being of the community is fulfilled.  

She is an active clinician, teacher, mentor and patient advocate — finding fulfillment in caring for communities. She values informed care with shared decision-making.

She received her pre-med and medical training at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan then completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, where she also served as a Pediatric Chief Resident and completed a primary care fellowship, focused on public health practices in pediatrics.

She serves on several boards, committees and professional organizations and is a recent Milbank Memorial Fund's Emerging Leader, working to advance a health equity lens to improve population health to legislative and executive branch government officials.

Janeana White, MD.