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Fenway Lauds Nomination Of Dr. Rachel Levine For Assistant Secretary Of Health, Calls On Senate To Confirm Swiftly

BOSTON, January 19, 2021—Fenway Health commends the incoming Biden-Harris Administration for the historic nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Levine is Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where she has been leading that state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. She holds the highest rank in public health ever achieved by an openly transgender person. Once confirmed by the United States Senate, Dr. Levine will be the highest ranking openly transgender person serving in U.S. government.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has appointed the most diverse group of experts to lead government agencies in history,” said Carl Sciortino, Fenway Health’s Executive Vice President of External Relations. “As Secretary of Health for the sixth most populous state in the country, Dr. Levine routinely works with the U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary of Health’s office building bridges between state public health policies and federal actions. This experience will be invaluable in in the coming months, when there will be an urgent need for coordinating federal COVID-19 vaccination and prevention efforts with state-level responses.”

Dr. Levine is also President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents public health agencies and experts across the country. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders. She formerly served as Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center and has has published and lectured widely on the opioid crisis, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBT medicine.

“Dr. Levine will make history as the first ever Senate-confirmed openly transgender person. She is highly qualified for this position, and her election as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, is testament to the faith other public health leaders have in her leadership,” Sciortino added. “We strongly urge the Senate to confirm Dr. Levine so that she can get to work for the American people.”

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