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Doctor to be first transgender person confirmed by U.S. Senate

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WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Rachel Levine to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health. She will become the first out transgender person to be confirmed for a position by the U.S. Senate.

Levine currently serves as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has become nationally known due to her efforts to control the COVID-19 epidemic in the state and Republicans fighting coronavirus mitigations.

“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,” said Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris in a statement announcing the appointment. “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.”

Levine joined Pennsylvania Gov. 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 include 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. She is the President of ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

Levine is also aa speaker and author on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBTQ medicine.

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