Levine on track for Washington

HARRISBURG—Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden Administration.

“It has truly been an honor to serve the people of Pennsylvania under the leadership of Governor Tom Wolf. He is a tremendous leader with an incredible vision for Pennsylvania, and it has been a highlight of my career to serve in his administration,” Levine said. “Since I began state service in 2015, I have been laser focused on building a healthy Pennsylvania for all and I am proud of the work we have done at the Department of Health during my tenure.”

Levine also highlighted work the department has done on addressing the opioid epidemic, as well as work on HIV and Hep C and the childhood immunization programs.

“I am extremely proud of the work we have done during the last year to save lives in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” she added.

“Dr. Levine is a highly skilled and valued member of my administration and she will be greatly missed,” Wolf said. “She has been a wise and dedicated partner during this pandemic and throughout her career with the commonwealth. I couldn’t be prouder of the tireless work she’s done to serve Pennsylvanians and protect the public health.

“Over the past year, her steady hand and calm approach were critical to managing Pennsylvania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. “Her work for our commonwealth has been transformational and I appreciate it more than I can say. I and the people of Pennsylvania owe her a debt of gratitude for her leadership, strength and dedication to protecting every person’s health amid unprecedented circumstances – and, at times, amid hateful distractions. Dr. Levine is both competent and compassionate, and never lets the anger or fear of others sway her from her goals.”

Wolf said he expects to make an announcement regarding Levine’s replacement later in the week.

Levine was appointed by Wolf as Secretary of Health in 2017. Prior to that role, she was the state’s physician general after having worked at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she created the center’s adolescent medicine division and eating disorder clinic.

Levine will need to be confirmed by Congress before stepping into the roll. If confirmed, Levine will be the highest-ranking transgender official in the U.S. government.

“I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve Pennsylvanians, and all Americans, as part of the Biden Administration if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed to this position,” Levine said.