An advisory group of life sciences and health care leaders in Greater Philadelphia is lending its expertise to the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) as the region addresses the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis on the meetings and conventions industry and tourism.

The 18-member volunteer PHL Health Advisors is a subcommittee of the PHLCVB’s Life Sciences and Nursing Leadership Committee. The members represent areas including advocacy, education, infectious disease, medical research, mental health, and public health, among others. They will aid the PHLCVB – the City of Philadelphia’s official tourism promotion agency globally and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center – as it implements new standards for safe meetings, events, and travel experiences.

The PHL Health Advisors will serve as an internal support team, providing guidance to the PHLCVB on health and safety standards as well as information on local medical advancements in the fight against COVID-19.

PHLCVB also announced Dr. David Nash as Chief Health Advisor to provide guidance directly to meeting planner customers and serve as a public spokesperson for PHLCVB on matters of public health and tourism. Dr. Nash is Dean Emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health.

PHL Health Advisors and the PHLCVB’s Chief Health Advisor are components of the PHL Health Pledge, an initiative PHLCVB launched on July 1 that aims to increase awareness of Philadelphia’s plans to safely welcome back visitors as the city gradually reopens for business. It will serve as the framework for the future travel experience, with guidance for vigilant sanitation, cleanliness, and increased public health awareness.

“The PHLCVB is the only convention and visitors’ bureau in the country with a dedicated life sciences division,” said Bonnie Grant, Executive Director of PHL Life Sciences, a division of the PHLCVB. “For 30+ years, PHL Life Sciences has brought together health care and life sciences professionals to serve as our panel of experts and assist us in bringing industry meetings to the region and to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where in 2019, health care and life sciences conventions account for 22 percent of all PHLCVB-related events,” she said.

“COVID-19 has left destinations with unprecedented challenges, and the Philadelphia region is no exception,” Grant added. “With PHL Health Advisors, we are tapping into the expansive knowledge of our dedicated PHL Life Sciences panel of experts to address these challenges and the new needs of our visitors as we work to ensure that health, safety and infection protocols are in place. Together, we will guide our customers and the traveling public amid this new and evolving landscape,” she said.

“Greater Philadelphia is a destination of innovators, problem solvers and discovery,” Grant added. “Together with our partners we will work to ensure that our city is as safe for visitors as it is inspiring.”