John M. Becker

Trans Woman Picked as PA's New Physician General

Filed By John M. Becker | January 20, 2015 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: government appointment, medicine, Pennsylvania, physician general, Rachel Levine, trans trailblazers

rachel-levine-PA.jpgDemocratic Pennsylvania governor-elect Tom Wolf will be inaugurated today, but he's already made history even before taking the oath of office: on Saturday, he announced the appointment of Dr. Rachel Levine to the office of physician general.

Levine is a transgender woman, and as Philadelphia magazine reports, if she's confirmed by the state senate, she will be the first trans person to serve in that position in Pennsylvania history -- and possibly the nation.

In her role as physician general, Levine will advise the governor and secretary of the Department of Health on medical and public health-related issues. In a press release sent out this weekend, Wolf explains why he chose her for this position:

"Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters."

Dr. Levine comes with a distinguished résumé: a graduate of Harvard and Tulane, she specializes in adolescent medicine and eating disorders at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. At Hershey, she serves as professor of pediatrics and psychiatry and as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders -- a program she created and built herself.

Levine also serves as vice chair for clinical affairs in the pediatrics department at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, and is active in mentoring and assisting LGBT students, faculty, and staff as the liaison for LGBT affairs at the school's diversity office. She also sits on the board of Equality Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to this LGBT trailblazer!

Image via Penn State Hershey.

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