SOPHE Supports Appointment of Dr. Rachel Levine for USDHHS Assistant Secretary for Health

Washington, D.C. – February 23 – The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) supports Pres. Biden’s nomination of Rachel Levine, MD, to serve as assistant secretary for Health at the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

As secretary of health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 2018, Dr. Levine has been a progressive and effective leader in addressing the opioid epidemic, advancing LGBTQ equity, protecting rural health, and directing the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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. Trained in pediatrics and adolescent medicine, Dr. Levine’s early career involved working in New York City and serving on the faculty of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Dr. Levine is the current president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely-associated states, and Washington, D.C., and more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. This experience is invaluable to understanding the work and needs of frontline public health workers.

“At this time in our nation’s history, we especially need Dr. Levine’s experience and decisive leadership at the national level to oversee key health offices and programs across the department, 10 regional health offices nationwide, the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps,” says SOPHE President Dr. Cam Escoffery. “We applaud Dr. Levine’s nomination and look forward to working with her in addressing the inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and overall health, including those of LBGTQ community.”

SOPHE urges the Senate to promptly confirm Dr. Rachel Levine to the position of DHHS Assistant Secretary for Health.

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Letter to Sen. Patty Murray (WA) and Sen. Richard Burr (NC)