Joel Hersh

Board Member
Executive Director, Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team (PASART)


Joel Hersh

A native of Philadelphia and a life long resident of our state, Joel began his career as a high school history teacher in State College. He moved on to the Commonwealth in 1972 and has had a distinguished career in public health, retiring in January 2005.

Prior to joining PASART as Executive Director, Joel directed the Commonwealth’s multi-faceted epidemiology program, which includes efforts in Infectious and Chronic Diseases, Environmental Health and Maternal and Child Health. He was the initiator of Pennsylvania’s award winning electronic disease reporting system.

Joel also has a long history of collaboration with the environmental and agricultural communities. In that regard, he authored the state’s West Nile program; participated in initiatives with the state Department of Agriculture on BSE and CWD and was instrumental in the achievement of the PA Egg Quality Assurance Program, which has become a national model. He served as a member of the Department of Agricultures’ Farm Safety and Occupational Health Advisory Board.

Joel has served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Public Health Association (PPHA). He is a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. (CSTE).He has also served on the Board of the National Association of Animal and Agriculture Emergency Programs and is frequently asked to assist other states in developing a SART program.

In the past nine years, Joel has been the guiding force in the development of PASART into a nationally recognized program and has served on numerous federal and state work groups dealing with emergency preparedness for animals.

Joel and his wife, Cynthia Tyger, reside in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. They are the parents of two grown daughters and have one grandson.