U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Move Forward Dr. Rachel Levine’s Nomination for Assistant Secretary for Health

by Aryn Fields

Today, the Human Rights Campaign responded to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension bipartisan 13-9 vote to advance Dr. Rachel Levine’s nomination as Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Levine will be the first openly transgender, Senate-confirmed federal official in U.S. history.

“We are one step closer to seeing the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine, which will be a historic day for the LGBTQ community and our government. Dr. Levine has proven time and again that she is a seasoned public health expert up to the task of restoring the nation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when the transgender community is facing an outright assault on their basic rights by state legislatures, it is ever more crucial to ensure that every voice is represented in our government. We urge the U.S. Senate to act swiftly to confirm Dr. Levine so she can put her medical expertise to work fighting COVID-19 and our other public health challenges.”

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

Dr. Levine was previously the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Levine joined Governor 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.

In addition to her recent positions, Dr. Levine is an accomplished regional and international speaker, and author on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBTQ medicine. Dr. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

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