Governor Wolf’s Statement on the Confirmation of Health, Human Services and Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretaries, Insurance Commissioner

March 20, 2018

All four female cabinet members confirmed today

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today released the following statement congratulating four members of his cabinet on their confirmations. Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith, and Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman were all confirmed today by the Senate.

“It gives me great pride to congratulate these four accomplished, capable women on their confirmations today,” Governor Wolf said. “They each bring unique experience to their respective positions, but they share the same passion to serve our commonwealth and its residents.

“Since the start of my administration, Dr. Rachel Levine has been leading the charge for a healthier Pennsylvania. As Physician General, she has championed getting Pennsylvanians access to critical services to combat the opioid epidemic and improve health care. As secretary of Health she will continue to make Pennsylvania a healthier place to live and work.

“In her previous role as Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner Teresa Miller worked on a range of issues, including the administration’s top priorities – fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic and helping seniors. Prior to coming to Pennsylvania, Miller held positions within the federal government’s Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, and various capacities for the state of Oregon. There, she fought for state adoption of mental health parity legislation, representing drug and alcohol treatment providers, social workers, the Arc of Oregon and other advocates for people with disabilities – all roles that will help guide her as secretary of DHS.

“Since her appointment to DDAP in January 2017, Jennifer Smith has led the department’s focus on strengthening Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol treatment landscape and helped coordinate Pennsylvania’s application funding from the 21st Century Cures Act, which resulted in a $26.5 million award to expand access to medication-assisted treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based treatment practices. Jennifer’s commitment to help Pennsylvanians suffering from the disease of addiction will serve her department and the people of Pennsylvania well.

“Prior to my nominating Jessica Altman to serve as Insurance Commissioner, she served as Chief of Staff, and has since been named vice chair of the Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for 2018. Prior to joining the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Altman worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, where she developed policy and facilitated implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In addition, she served as a policy analyst for the health division of the White House Office of Management and Budget. Her varied and focused experience will help significantly as she continues to lead the Department of Insurance.”

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