About Us


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


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.


Self-sufficient families and individuals in safe and healthy communities


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


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


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


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

Page last reviewed: August 30, 2021