Governor-elect Wolf Announces Heads of Human Services, Health, Drugs and Alcohol, and His Physician General
Governor-elect Tom Wolf announced on Saturday, that he has chosen Ted Dallas, currently the secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, to be his secretary of the Department of Human Services, and Karen Murphy, the former chief executive officer of Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, to be his secretary of the Department of Health. Wolf also announced that current Department of Drugs and Alcohol secretary, Gary Tennis, will stay on in his Administration and Dr. Rachel Levine will serve as the physician general. Dr. Levine is currently a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, 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 Children’s Hospital-Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
"My top priority is to expand Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, and as my administration works to fix the myriad problems that exist with the current system, I need the Department of Human Services to be run efficiently and effectively," said Governor-elect Tom Wolf. " Secretary Ted Dallas has two decades of experience working with Medicaid, and under his leadership the Maryland Department of Human Resources reduced poverty, placed more people in jobs than ever before in state history, and was recognized by the federal government for program efficiency. This week, Casey Family Programs recognized Secretary Dallas’ work in child welfare and his efforts to improve the lives of children and families. He will provide the leadership necessary to run one of Pennsylvania's largest agencies."
"Dr. Karen Murphy began her career as a nurse and worked her way up to become the chief executive officer of a health system. She has an extensive understanding of the health care industry and has substantial executive experience," Wolf continued. "Over the last two years, Dr. Murphy has run a $900 million federal program designed to accelerate health care innovation across the country. Dr. Murphy will apply the experience she has gained in the public and private sectors to her role leading Pennsylvania's Department of Health and health care transformation across the commonwealth."
"Secretary Tennis has helped improve re-entry services for individuals in recovery, and he has strengthened programming to reduce recidivism rates,” said Governor-elect Wolf. “He has also received national recognition for his efforts to improve collaboration among law enforcement and healthcare organizations to reduce drug overdose deaths. Under Secretary Tennis' leadership, the Department of Drugs and Alcohol was efficiently established and has effectively administered the management and allocation of state and federal funds used to oversee alcohol and drug prevention, intervention and treatment services."
"Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters," Wolf concluded.
Ted Dallas - secretary, Department of Human Services. Under Secretary Ted Dallas' leadership, the Maryland Department of Human Resources reduced poverty and set state records for job placement. The department was also recognized by the federal government as one of the most efficient and highest performing states at administering food assistance, which resulted in extra funds coming to the state. Secretary Dallas was recently chosen to receive a national award from Casey Family Programs for his contributions to the child welfare field and his efforts to improve the lives of children and families.
Dr. Karen Murphy - secretary, Department of Health. Dr. Karen Murphy started her career as a nurse and worked her way up to become the chief executive officer at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton. Dr. Murphy has extensive knowledge of the health care industry and is a proven executive who has demonstrated her ability to lead complex organizations and initiatives in both the public and private sectors. For the past two years, Dr. Murphy has led the State Innovation Models Initiative, a $900 million investment by the federal government aimed at accelerating health care innovation and transformation across the nation.
Gary Tennis - secretary, Department of Drugs and Alcohol. Secretary Gary Tennis is a nationally recognized expert in drugs and alcohol. Tennis is currently the chairman of the National Alliance on Model State Drug Laws and he serves on the Board of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. In June last year, Tennis received the Exceptional Leadership and Support of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment award from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.
Dr. Rachel Levine - Physician General. Dr. Levine is an expert in pediatrics and psychiatry. While at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Dr. Levine led the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems. She also started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program, which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In her role as physician general, Dr. Levine will advise the governor and secretary of the Department of Health on medical and public health-related issues.
Source: Wolf Transition Press