Biden Picks Pa.’s Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Health Secretary

| January 19, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

While serving as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dr. Levine has been leading the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Levine was confirmed three times by the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania state senate to serve as Secretary of Health and the state’s physician general.

She is poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond. She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts,” Biden said in a press release.

“Dr. Rachel Levine is a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience to help us contain this pandemic, and protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris added.

“President-elect Biden and I look forward to working with her to meet the unprecedented challenges facing Americans and rebuild our country in a way that lifts everyone up.”

Along with serving as the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, Dr. Levine is also the President of ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

Dr. Levine joined Governor Tom Wolf’s administration in January 2015 as the Physician General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and served from 2015 to 2017. She was named Acting Secretary of Health in July 2017 and confirmed as Secretary of Health in March 2018. Her previous posts included: Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

In addition to her recent posts, Dr. Levine is also an accomplished regional and international speaker, and author on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBTQ+ medicine. Dr. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.


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Category: Local News, News, State News