HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania’s former Health Secretary released a statement following her confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as the nation’s Assistant Secretary for Health.
“I am honored that the U.S. Senate has voted in favor of my nomination to be Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. I am grateful to President Biden and Vice President Harris for nominating me to this important post. I look forward to working under the leadership of Secretary Becerra and ensuring that we promote policies that advance the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”
Dr. Levine has become the first openly transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation. She thanked members of the LGBTQ community saying their work and advocacy made her story a possibility.
“As I prepare to take my oath of office and begin serving as Assistant Secretary for Health, I would like to take this opportunity to address members of the LGBTQ community. First, thank you. Only through your work and advocacy over many decades is my story possible. I am humbled to be the first transgender individual to serve in a Senate-confirmed position. As Vice President Harris has said, I recognize that I may be the first, but am heartened by the knowledge that I will not be the last.”
Levine had been serving as Pennsylvania’s top health official since 2017, and emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. She is expected to oversee Health and Human Services offices and programs across the U.S.