Gov. Wolf taps Alison Beam, Wendy Braund to replace outgoing Health Secretary Rachel Levine

Interim Acting Physician General Wendy Braund (Courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Health)

Interim Acting Physician General Wendy Braund (Courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Health)

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday his intention to nominate Alison Beam to serve as secretary of the Department of Health and named Dr. Wendy Braund as interim acting physician general.

Beam will replace outgoing Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as assistant secretary of health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beam will assume the role of acting secretary effective tomorrow, Jan. 23.

Gov. Tom Wolf has nominated Alison Beam to replace Dr. Rachel Levine as health secretary. (Alison Beam/LinkedIn)

The governor praised Beam as a “talented public servant who brings years of experience in health care policy and implementation to this position.”

“Alison knows that a strong, widely available, and successful vaccination strategy is the path out of the pains of this pandemic,” Wolf said.

The governor said Beam’s primary focus will be on the strategic distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring the state receives as many doses as possible from the federal government, and coordinates with hospitals, health centers, local governments, and pharmacy partners to make the vaccine widely available.

Beam now serves as deputy chief of staff to the governor, coordinating initiatives and resources across various state departments, as well as the Office of Advocacy and Reform.

In that role, she helped coordinate the administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response; the rollout of Pennie, the state’s health insurance marketplace, the Reach Out PA campaign, and the Wolf administration’s health care reform plan.

The governor has also named Dr. Wendy Braund as interim acting physician general, replacing Levine in that role. Braund currently serves as the COVID-19 response director for the state health department and will assume the role of Interim acting physician general effective Jan. 23.

“Wendy has been an integral part of our COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, and that experience will be an asset in this role,” said Wolf.

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