HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Wednesday, Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro announced five more cabinet nominations for the secretaries of human services, health, drug and alcohol programs, and aging as well as the insurance commissioner.
Shapiro nominated Dr. Val Arkoosh to be secretary of the Department of Human Services. Arkoosh has served on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners since 2015 and was the first woman to serve as the commission chair.
Arkoosh also led the nonprofit National Physicians Alliance and was a professor of clinical anesthesiology and clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania, Shapiro’s transition team noted.
“As a physician and public health advocate, I spent my career fighting for health care access and affordability for families, and I am deeply honored to be able to continue this fight alongside my friend, Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro,” said Arkoosh.
“Working together as Montgomery County Commissioners, I saw Governor-Elect Shapiro’s commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of his constituents firsthand. I look forward to advancing the Governor-Elect’s agenda to ensure vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth have the support they need and every Pennsylvanian has equitable, affordable access to health care in their community,” Arkoosh continued.
Shapiro also nominated Dr. Debra L. Bogen to be secretary of health.
“The health and wellbeing of Pennsylvanians is critical to our success as a Commonwealth, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with Governor-Elect Shapiro to serve the healthcare needs of people across Pennsylvania,” said Bogen. “In Allegheny County, we’ve brought people together to expand access to clinical care, advocate for family and child health, and protect the most vulnerable. I am excited to advance the Shapiro Administration’s agenda and to make evidence-informed decisions to improve the health and wellbeing of all of our residents.”
Bogen is the director of the Allegheny County Health Department, which she led through the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she was a member of the Pittsburgh region medical and research community for more than 20 years, Shapiro’s transition team noted.
Shapiro nominated Dr. Latika Davis-Jones to be secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
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Davis-Jones is currently the senior director of behavioral health at Highmark Wholecare. She previously served as the administrator for the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. She also was an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Shapiro’s transition team said.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the Governor-Elect as Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs,” said Davis-Jones. “As Secretary of DDAP, I will work diligently to advance the Governor-Elect’s agenda by expanding education, intervention, treatment, recovery supports programs across the Commonwealth. Governor-Elect Shapiro has said he believes addiction is a chronic disease – and the Department will put in the work to make sure every Pennsylvanian can get access to the treatment they need.”
Shapiro nominated Jason Kavulich to be secretary of aging.
Kavulich is the director of the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging and has 21 years of experience in the human service field, the Shapiro transition team noted.
“It is a privilege to serve the Governor-Elect and to work with the Shapiro Administration to advocate for the interests of all older Pennsylvanians as Secretary of Aging,” said Kavulich.
“With over two decades in the human service field and as the Director of P4A, I know that too often our seniors are making impossible choices between meeting basic needs and staying in their home or paying for their prescriptions. Our seniors deserve better – that’s why I’m looking forward to leading the Shapiro Administration’s work to develop programs to ease the burdens felt by our Commonwealth’s seniors,” Kavulich said.
Lastly, Shapiro nominated Mike Humphreys to be the insurance commissioner.
Humphreys was named acting insurance commissioner on Feb. 28, 2022, and has held senior positions in the Insurance Department for more than three years, Shapiro’s transition team said. He previously worked for the National Council of Insurance Legislators, the team noted.
“I’m looking forward to continuing our work at Pennsylvania Insurance Department, and I’m honored Governor-Elect Shapiro has entrusted me with this role in his cabinet,” Acting Insurance Commissioner Mike Humphreys. “As the Governor-Elect has said, every Pennsylvanian, no matter where they live, deserves to have access to equitable, affordable health care – and I’m proud of our work to expand access to high-quality, affordable health insurance plans in Pennsylvania and to ensure such plans provide fair and robust mental health coverage protections.”
“The health and safety of our communities is of the utmost importance, and I’m proud to nominate tested leaders like Dr. Val Arkoosh, Dr. Debra Bogen, Dr. Latika Davis-Jones, Jason Kavulich, and Mike Humphreys to key cabinet posts in my Administration – they are well qualified public servants who are passionate about public health and ready to get to work on day one,” said Shapiro.