Dr. Rachel Levine, 63, is currently an Admiral on the US Public Health Service Commission.
Appointed by President Joe Biden, Rachel levine is already the highest ranked public transgender public official in the United States. She described the event as “significant” and “historical” in her Tuesday oath.
“I hope today’s appointment will be the first of many to come as we create a more diverse and more inclusive future,” she said in a speech honoring other LGBTQ people who came before her.
Dr. Levine is a graduate of Harvard College and Tulane University School of Medicine, where she previously worked as a pediatrician.
The U.S. Public Health Services Commission has approximately 6,000 uniformed officers and is tasked with responding to health crises such as the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.
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Health Minister Xavier Becerra described Dr. Levine’s appointment as “a huge step towards equality as a nation”.
Rachel Levine, nominated Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, testifies at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
She also served as Pennsylvania’s general practitioner and state health secretary, addressing issues such as combating widespread opioid addiction.
Dr. Levine was confirmed as Assistant Secretary of Health in the Senate by a 52 to 48 vote in March.
Levine held fellowships at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City from 1988 to 199, where she received her pediatric training. After she moved from Manhattan to central Pennsylvania in 1993, she became an employee of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. During her tenure there, she founded the Department of Adolescent Medicine and the Eating Disorders Clinic at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. She was responsible for the latter when she was nominated for the position of Pennsylvania Physician General in 2015.
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During her verification process, her candidate was faced with questions about handling the coronavirus pandemic in a nursing home while serving as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health.
Critics have blamed the death of many older people at the national policy to house COVID-19 patients in nursing homes.
Shortly after implementing the measure, Dr Levine admitted that she had moved her own mother out of a nursing home as her virus cases increased.