Senate confirms Dr. Rachel Levine as HHS assistant health secretary

Rachel Levine, MD, is set to become the next HHS assistant health secretary after the Senate voted March 24 to confirm her, NPR reported. 

Dr. Levine, who was nominated by President Joe Biden in January, was confirmed by a 52-48 vote.  

Dr. Levine, a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, is former secretary of Health for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and led the state's COVID-19 response. Before that, she served as physician general of the state and acting secretary of health. 

Dr. Levine's confirmation makes her the first openly transgender, Senate-confirmed federal official. 

She will oversee key HHS public health offices and programs, presidential and secretarial advisory committees, 10 regional health offices in the U.S., the Surgeon General Office and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.


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